One of the strengths of the biennial National Rural Health Conference is its capacity to generate recommendations for action to improve policies and programs for rural and remote health. The recommendations play a key part in setting the rural and remote health sector's agenda for subsequent years. At the 13th Conference delegates were able to propose recommendations for action through the Sharing Shed, an on-line Forum in which they could also make comments on existing proposals and vote for their favourites.
A Conference recommendations group, led by Lesley Fitzpatrick, had access to all the recommendations proposed as well as comments on them and the number of votes for each - plus the Conference Twitter feed and the Keynote addresses. From these various sources a set of Interim Priority Recommendations was prepared, reflecting the information received in the Sharing Shed by Wednesday morning. These were presented to a Conference plenary session after lunch on Wednesday. Later, work continued on the full set of proposals received, which included those on topics considered in Concurrent Session E and votes cast after Wednesday morning. This work resulted in the Final Priority Recommendations and the 13th Conference Communique.
The complete list of recommendations (around 340 in number) can be found at the Sharing Shed.
It is hoped this recommendations process will lead to action and policy change at various levels, including through advocacy for them by any individuals or organisations who support them.