Special Issue Call for Abstracts: Addressing Rural Health Workforce Inequalities

The Australian Journal of Rural Health announces a forthcoming special issue and calls for the submission of high-quality abstracts for consideration

Special Issue Guest Editors

Associate Professor Martin Jones: martin.jones@unisa.edu.au
Professor David Lyle: david.lyle@health.nsw.gov.au
Ms Sandra Walsh: sandra.walsh@unisa.edu.au
Associate Professor Vincent Versace: vincent.versace@deakin.edu.au

Special Issue Advisors
Dr Leanne Brown: leanne.brown@newcastle.edu.au
Professor Sandra Thompson: sandra.thompson@uwa.edu.au
Professor Sabina Knight: sabina.knight@jcu.edu.au
Dr Heather Bridgman: heather.bridgman@utas.edu.au


Australia produces a highly skilled and well educated health workforce. Unfortunately, the workforce is not evenly distributed across the nation. If you are a health care professional, you are more likely to practice in metropolitan centre. This maldistribution partly explains why the overall health of people living in rural communities is poorer; this is evident across many health indicators, including early death. Over the last twenty years, government and non-government agencies, professional associations, and academic institutions, have individually and collectively invested in the development of the rural health workforce to improve access to high quality services through efforts to attract and retain health care professionals in rural Australia. The appointment of a National Rural Health Commissioner, the establishment of a national rural generalist pathway in medicine, and Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program and its recent evaluation, are examples of national efforts to respond to the unequitable health workforce distribution. In this special edition we want to provide academics, service providers, and policy makers with an opportunity to report on work which addresses workforce maldistribution.

Topics for the special issue

We invite abstracts that outline proposed manuscripts for high quality research from Australia and internationally in the following areas:

  • Integration of education, training and employment pathways in regionally based workforce programs to develop a sustainable rural health workforce.
  • Development of rural generalist pathways in allied health and nursing as a facilitator to support the rural health workforce
  • The role of virtual health clinicians in rural workforce models to supplement the existing rural health workforce
  • Innovative workforce models supporting primary health care service delivery to rural, remote and very remote communities
  • Key success factors of sustainable rural workforce models in Australia and internationally
  • Initiatives to develop the Indigenous health workforce and to serve Indigenous Australians living in rural, remote and very remote communities

Call for Abstracts

The Guest Editors recommend that interested authors discuss their planned contributions directly via the email addresses provided above. Abstracts should be submitted via email to the AJRH Editorial Office ajr.eo@wiley.com before 5pm AEST 30 November 2020. Abstracts will be reviewed for suitability by the Guest Editors, with the support of Editor-in-Chief, Russell Roberts. All abstract submissions will be replied to by 7 December 2020. Successful abstracts will be provided with details for submission of a full manuscript, submission of which will be due by 1 March 2021 5pm AEST. All full manuscript submissions will be subject to editorial board assessment and peer review; approval of an abstract for subsequent full manuscript submission is not a guarantee of publication. Editorial decisions are final.


Abstract submission deadline: 5pm AEST 30 November 2020
Post-abstract approval full-manuscript invitations sent: 7 December 2020
Submission of invited full manuscripts: 5pm AEST 1 March 2021