Every second year current and future leaders of the rural and remote health sector in Australia meet at the National Rural Health Conference. Their purpose is to exchange information on the latest developments in rural and remote health, to network with new and old friends, and to craft a set of recommendations for action.
For people of the rural and remote health sector, the Conference aims to:
- inspire and inform;
- showcase developments on the ground;
- help build interdisciplinary health teamwork - including between Australia and other countries;
- engage health consumers with others in the sector;
- provide an opportunity for research reports to be delivered by both experienced and early-career researchers;
- anticipate developments and issues and help set the sector’s agenda;
- produce a set of priority recommendations to governments; and
- promote a stronger awareness of rural and remote health issues in the wider community and among policy makers.
Hobart is the location of the 15th National Rural Health Conference.
Over 1,200 people concerned with the health of communities in rural and remote areas will attend the Conference. They will come from disparate and widespread places of rural and remote Australia and will be representative of the 7 million people who live and work there.
All delegates will have a strong shared interest in the future of rural and remote centres and regions, and a concern for the wellbeing and happiness of people who live in small, scattered communities.
The Conference will provide a welcome to people from all sectors engaged with health and wellbeing: education, transport and housing, economic development, the environment, and community services. The Conference and its organisers will never forget that, in effect, the 'rural health community' includes many people who live and work in the major cities and who are involved in one way or another with the health of people from country areas.
As always, the National Rural Health Conference will be strongly interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral. It will attract health professionals of all disciplines, as well as rural/remote health consumers, students, researchers, academics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, government officials, parliamentarians and the media.
It will have a strong focus on the social determinants of health and wellbeing, and on health service delivery models that work well in more remote areas. Sessions will be arranged around key issues, not around specific professions. For instance, rather than separate streams of activity for nurses or managers or medical practitioners, Conference content might relate to such things as mental health and wellbeing, better access, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, preventing avoidable hospitalisation, or the social determinants of health.
The final Plenary session will see the presentation of a set of priority recommendations developed by delegates through the NRHA's online Sharing Shed portal.