A new state-wide health report shows Central West Queensland has the highest child
immunisation rate in the state.

The 2016 Chief Health Officer’s report found 96 per cent of five year olds in the Central West
were fully immunised in 2015, compared to 92 per cent for Queensland as a whole.

The report found the Central West also had higher rates than the Queensland average for the
number of women who attended five or more antenatal visits and for women aged 50-69 years
who had a breast screen.

However, local residents had much higher rates of smoking, obesity and risky drinking
behaviours than the Queensland average, the report showed.

Central West Hospital and Health Service Acting Chief Executive Jane Hancock said the rates
of smoking, obesity and risky drinking were 36, 39 and 53 per cent higher respectively than the
state averages.

“On the plus side though, our smoking rate has improved considerably over the past two years
since the last Chief Health Officer’s report,’’ she said.

“According to the 2014 report, the Central West’s smoking rate was 51 per cent higher that the
state average, so we have come down substantially to just 36 per cent above the state average
in the latest report.

“Nevertheless, these risky behaviours pose a significant challenge for our health service, as
they do for all health services and they do increase the pressure on our services.’’

Ms Hancock said local residents should consider how risk factors such as unhealthy eating,
physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption were impacting on their health and
lifestyle.

“Unhealthy and risky behaviours can and do lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations and
premature deaths,’’ she said.

“Here in the Central West, the rate of potentially preventable hospitalisations is 42 per cent
higher than the Queensland rate.

“The top contributors to these hospitalisations were diabetes complications, cellulitis and
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which together accounted for 47 per cent of our
potentially preventable hospitalisations.

“All of these conditions are related to lifestyle factors and are potentially preventable.

“The bacterial skin infection cellulitis, for instance, can affect anyone but you are more at risk if
you smoke, are diabetic or have poor circulation.

“And of course, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is closely associated with smoking.

“But you don’t have to accept these unhealthy lifestyle behaviours. You have the power to make
changes and we can help you if you genuinely want to do so.

“I encourage everyone to be more active, eat healthier and make small behavioural changes to
improve their health.

“Eating more fruit and vegetables and finding ways to be more active in your daily life are just
two simple things you can do to improve your health.

“There are also a number of programs available to help people lose weight, develop healthier
eating habits, get more active, quit smoking and drink less alcohol.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of their health and working with your GP or local
health service is an excellent place to start.

“We’re here to help you.

“You can also use the State Government’s Healthier. Happier. campaign to help you perform an
honest assessment of your diet and lifestyle, and find ways to improve your health.’’

The CHO report is released once every two years and uses a number of data sources to create
a snapshot of public health in Queensland.

• Visit www.healthier.qld.gov.au to find out more about nutrition and exercise tips,
videos and a range of recipes.

• For help to stop smoking, visit: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/stayinghealthy/
atods/smoking/index.html

• The Health of Queenslanders 2016 full report is available for download from
www.health.qld.gov.au/cho_report/

ENDS