Central West Hospital and Health Service staff are gearing up for the 2016 Census that will be held on 9
August.

All adult residents of Australia, whether they are citizens or non-citizens, are required to complete a
census form wherever they are located within Australian territory on the night of 9 August.

Central West Health Chief Executive Michel Lok said this included patients in hospital on the night of the
Census, as well as staff working the night shift.

“Each of our facilities will have a designated staff member who will be the contact for local
representatives of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),’’ Mr Lok said.

“These designated staff members will take delivery of the Census forms from the ABS representatives
and distribute them to patients and staff in the hospital or health centre on the night.

“Where necessary, our staff will help patients complete the form.

“Those designated staff members also will be empowered to gather information on behalf of those
patients who are physically or mentally incapable of filling out the Census form and where there is not a
family member who could assist in that regard.’’

Mr Lok said in such cases, only information relevant to the completion of the Census form, such as
demographic information, name, age, normal place of residence, or culturally and linguistically diverse
ancestry would be able to be accessed from a patient’s medical records.

“No clinical information relating to the patient will be released,’’ he said.

“The designated staff members will then collect the completed forms on the night and provide them to
the ABS local representatives when they return after 9 August.

“I would like to urge everyone in the Central West to complete their Census form on 9 August.

“This information is vital to future government decision-making, both state and Commonwealth.

“Governments use the Census information when deciding on the allocation of resources to various parts
of the country.

“An inaccurate Census count could well result in a region like the Central West not receiving due
consideration in the national and state distribution of government funds and resources.’’

ENDS