Seemingly flying in the face of our previous assertion that multiple pharmacies in Watsonia could indicate a potential health crisis in our suburb, it seems the heightened access to health care has helped Watsonia rate highly in a study that aimed to identify Melbourne’s healthiest suburb. The recent study, conducted by Deloitte Access Economics and Tract Consultants, rated the capability of every suburb in Melbourne to provide its residents with a healthy environment.

Rather than survey the actual health of each suburb’s residents, the study instead looked into a variety of factors that help to provide a healthy suburban environment — including access to health care, residents using “active transport” to get around, and the prevalence of liquor stores and fast food outlets. Once all of those factors were assessed and put through a calculator, Watsonia received an impressive 4.5 stars out of 5, making us the highest ranked suburb in the entire Diamond Valley. The ranking also places us just behind supposed health havens, and real estate hot spots, as East Melbourne, Fitzroy, Carlton North, Brunswick, Eaglemont and Fairfield.

One can only assume that the abundance of pharmacies in the local area considerably boosted our result, along with easy access to other health care services, a lively public transport network and, possibly, the existence of a “Paris End”. The result is even more impressive when you consider that we presumably lost a few points for the fact we have four pizza shops, two bakeries, and countless fish and chip shops.

Local resident Dianne Cornelius told The Watsonia Bugle, “This is just wonderful isn’t it? I’m so proud. Along with our vibrant community, this really puts Watsonia on the map if you ask me. It’s even better than the time we ranked number one for house sales by auction, and our third placing in the best places to visit that end in the letters ‘nia’. It’s a great result for the people of Watsonia.”