About the theme

The theme of the 15th National Rural Health Conference is:

We can do even better!


The 15th Conference, in Hobart, 24-27 March 2019, will focus on the achievements of the past and the very bright future for rural and remote health in Australia.

Speaking at the inaugural breakfast of the Parliamentary Friends of Rural and Remote Health, the newly elected Chair of the National Rural Health Alliance, Tanya Lehmann, called on political leaders to do better.

"We know that poorer access to services contributes to poorer health outcomes for rural and remote Australians. As country people we are, are on average, older, sicker and poorer than our city cousins. In a land as wealthy as ours, that is just not good enough. We have to do better."

NRHA Media Release, 12 September 2017

It will be a clarion call for everyone involved to recognise the great things about rural Australia and to commit to even more collaboration, innovation and determination. Rural Australia is comprised of a wide range of wonderful places in which to live and work.  It is home to one third of Australia’s exports.  In the health sector, it has a proud record of practical, multidisciplinary responses to the challenges of distance, absence of scale and scarce resources.

But We Can Do Even Better. Some essential health assets are still not available in rural areas. We Can Do Even Better on access to services, including through agreed health access standards for places of different size and other characteristics.

Governments at all levels say they recognise our special needs. But too often they have under-performed. We Can Do Even Better through a clearer focus on strategies and plans that are tailored to rural and remote areas, and on improving health system performance overall.

Rural community leaders and advocates have worked hard to represent our interests. But We Can Do Even Better through more effective communication among each other and with policy makers and researchers - particularly when it comes to the wellbeing and involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.                                              

Rural health clinicians have proved their versatility and resilience time and time again. But We Can Do Even Better with more inter-disciplinary collaboration and targeted support right through from early training to retirement. Workforce distribution and mental health are two areas of particular need.

We do not look only to technology, or science, or governments, or just to one group of clinicians or experts to make things Even Better. It's a challenge for all of us - working together. We are proud of rural Australia. We are confident in its future. We will commit and re-commit to playing our parts.

In all of these ways We Can Do Even Better for improved health and wellbeing in rural and remote Australia.


Contact us

Everything you need to know about the 15th biennial National Rural Health Conference is at www.ruralhealth.org.au/15nrhc.

If you are interested in discussing Sponsorship and Exhibition Options, please call Leanne Coleman, Conference Manager at the National Rural Health Alliance on 02 6285 4660 or email conference@ruralhealth.org.au

We look forward to welcoming you to Hobart.