The National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) is pleased to provide a submission for consideration in the 2024–25 Federal Budget. The Alliance is the peak body for rural, remote and regional (rural) health for the 30% of people
who live in these regions in Australia. We represent 50 National Members, and our vision is for healthy and sustainable rural communities across Australia.
The solutions we provide below will demonstrate your commitment to rural communities that are crucial to Australia’s social, cultural and economic livelihood, indeed for urban Australia.
The three key priorities we put forward in this Budget cycle are complimentary, integrate and strengthen findings and solutions from this Government’s reforms, reviews and enquiries. They add to other priorities the Alliance works on with its members and communities. They are strategic and support and augment Government’s strategies.
They are as follows:
- Community led Primary care Rural Integrated Multidisciplinary Health Services (PRIM-HS) in targeted communities, supported with block funding where the market is thin: a community-led and governed workforce intervention designed to improve access to high-quality, culturally safe, multidisciplinary primary care where markets have failed in rural Australia - block funding of between $13.53 million and $16.65 million over five years.
- A National Rural Health Strategy, to bring together state and federal rural health priorities and strategies and drive tangible and sustainable improvements in rural health outcomes over time – investment of $3.37 million over four years (of which $1.37 million would be Departmental staff costs).
- RuralHealthConnect Network: Bridging Evidence and Action: an evidence-based innovation via a community of practice, a Journal and web based intelligent Practice Hub. Its purpose is to improve the access, effectiveness, and translation of Government investment in rural programs, innovative models and workforce strategies, and share outcomes of innovative rural health initiatives in Australia. This community of practice would collate, collaboratively synthesise, and generate evidence-based resources through raising awareness, as well as bridging funding, delivery and findings via an online hub. It ensures ALL rural Australian communities and healthcare stakeholders can learn from each other, as well as adopt and adapt from current Government investment and research. – investment of $6.850 million over five years.