Much of the response to the Federal Budget has been on the extent to which the proposed cuts and savings would affect those who are already vulnerable. In health, the main focus has been on a potential co-payment for people who are bulk-billed. Access to primary care is critical - and it should not be forgotten that some people have no access to GPs at all. Underlying the whole Budget strategy are questions about whether the challenges in Australia's fiscal circumstance have been exaggerated and, if so, for what purpose and to what effect.

The proportions of people in rural and remote areas who drink alcohol at levels that are risky for lifetime harm and single occasion harm are considerably worse than their peers in the major cities. Discover more facts about risky drinking in rural and remote areas vs the major cities through the Risky drinking infographic.

The recently-released Review of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) has proposed that it be re-named 'My Health Record' and that it should become an opt-out system from 1 January 2015. The Alliance submission to the Review provided a number of practical suggestions for improving the system for people in rural and remote areas.

If your organisation has a commitement to good health for the people of rural, regional and remote areas, there is no better event for you than the 13th National Rural Health Conference (Darwin, May 2015). Visit the Conference website and look through the Sponsorship and Exhibition Options to see how you can get engaged.