Empowering underprivileged communities with sustainable health

People In Health Care; Dr Gaj Panagoda,
empowering underprivileged communities
Xstitch Health takes project based approach to
creating community-driven,
sustainable health outcomes

Dr Gaj Panagoda, CEO of Xstitch Health, has a diverse medical background and is working to improve health systems for underprivileged communities. In the Australian Health Journal’s People In Health Care series, he talks about the changes needed in community-based care using a project based approach,

According to Dr Panagoda, there is a need for a shift towards community-based care and collaboration with stakeholders in the healthcare system, and the potential to create a new kind of socially conscious, inspired, community-informed medical specialist is the future of medical specialty care.

Project-based job outcomes are clear, post-COVID community-based health systems are innovative, and the six pillars of Xstitch involve working with communities to identify strengths and challenges, collaborating with stakeholders, and deciding what’s needed.

Communities, including underprivileged ones, have untapped strengths that can be harnessed for their own healthcare journeys, and Xstitch Health aims to do something different by focusing on change management, policy, and governance.

“We are looking at a unique model to fund health projects based on community-defined issues and deliverables, with most interest coming from schools”, says Dr Panagoda.

He’s seen, schools in underprivileged areas that are providing services for students with particular needs, are interested in working better with health systems, to address acute issues.

Dr Panagoda believes medical specialists in Australia have untapped potential to address the wider needs of patients and can start taking action on their collective knowledge without waiting for higher positions.

Xstitch Health offers a new kind of job for doctors, combining patient care with system improvement and the opportunity to work in various locations.

Health professionals need support in their role in communities and a collaborative model for medical specialists is being developed to have a big impact across Australia.

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