Rural health matters this election!

Still unclear about what the major parties are offering for rural health this election?

The National Rural Health Alliance developed an Election Charter that homed in on the health needs particular to rural, regional and remote Australia and identified four key priorities for our next Federal Government:

  1. Improve Indigenous health
  2. Improve access to healthcare for remote, rural and regional people
  3. Expand research into the health needs of rural Australia
  4. Create a new National Rural Health Strategy

Under each of these priorities we named specific matters to be addressed.

We’ve sifted through the major parties’ (Coalition, Labor and the Greens) policies on these issues and created a comparison of their policies and promises, using their input and extracting parts of their policies that matched our focuses.

We have left the parties’ broader health policies to others to assess and have focused on rural health.

The National Rural Health Alliance represents 37 national organisations including health consumers, health care professionals, service providers, health educators, researchers, students and the Indigenous health sector. 

We are the peak non-government organisation for rural and remote health and for the seven million-plus people living in rural, regional and remote Australia, we know that future health care and prevention programs that keep them healthy are pivotal in this election.

When you vote this Saturday, remember to make rural health matter.

To see where the parties stand on our key priorities view:


Rural Health Matters this Election! PDF Version

View our Election Charter     

think about rural health when you vote


If you are not already on our database, subscribe here to receive our monthly newsletter and magazine via email.

The NRHA looks forward to working with the next government to improve health and wellbeing for people who live and work in rural and remote parts of Australia.  

Please stay in touch.


NRHA Election News & Media Releases

What the Government promised

27 May 2019,  NRHA Media Release

Rural voters left in dark on health: NRHA

With just four days left to vote in the Federal election, Australia’s peak body for rural, regional and remote health says there is no clear policy winner when it comes to promises for improving the health of people living outside capital cities.

15 May 2019,  NRHA Media Release

Concern grows over lack of focus on rural health

A chorus of concern over the major parties’ failure to focus on rural health issues in the election campaign is growing, the National Rural Health Alliance says.

09 May 2019,  NRHA Media Release

No detail yet on health policies for rural Australia: NRHA

A report out today showing higher levels of risky drinking in country areas compared with cities illustrates why political parties claiming to care for rural Australia must spell out what they are offering on rural health this election, the National Rural Health Alliance says.

08 May 2019,  NRHA Media Release

INFOGRAPHIC: Indigenous health

07 May 2019,  Infographic

Rural health ignored in election debate

The National Rural Health Alliance is dismayed at the lack of focus on rural health issues in the election debate on health at the National Press Club.

“It’s fair to say that the health needs of over 7 million people were totally ignored in this debate,” National Rural Health Alliance CEO Mark Diamond said.

02 May 2019,  NRHA Media Release

Market economics fails to deliver on rural health

Australia’s peak body for rural health has urged aspiring members of the nation’s next Federal Government to abandon the assumption that market economics can be the main lever driving the delivery of health services in rural areas.

“We know that when it comes to rural health, market failure exists,” National Rural Health Alliance Chair Tanya Lehmann said.

Regional Australia Institute Co-CEO Kim Houghton told the launch gathering that health would create jobs and drive economic growth in rural Australia.

01 May 2019,  NRHA Media Release

Launch of Rural Health Matters! in Parliament House

The National Rural Health Alliance launched its 2019 Election Charter:  Rural Health Matters! in Parliament House this morning.

Tanya Lehmann highlighted the need for policy planners to understand that the normal market models for supplying services did not apply in rural areas. "There is no market out there so we have to collaborate in our regions to make it viable for health services and health professionals to go rural. That needs government support."

Alliance CEO Mark Diamond highlighted the growing gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians in rural areas. Indigenous rates of cancer deaths grew by 21 per cent in the 17 years to 2015 but fell by 13 per cent for non-Indigenous people. "We are going backwards, not forwards."

Regional Australia Institute Co-CEO Kim Houghton said that in all rural communities Australia-wide, health occupations topped the number of internet-listed job vacancies and that an additional 85,000 health jobs will be created across non-metropolitan Australia in the next five years. He welcomed the NRHA's push for getting allied health professionals into rural areas.

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health Interim CEO Cath Maloney said it was time to fund allied health professionals into rural areas. "We can do this the same way as we have done for doctors. We know it works."

30 April 2019,  NRHA News

Connectivity promises not enough – NRHA

The National Rural Health Alliance – Australia’s umbrella rural health group – has welcomed the major parties’ focus on rural, regional and remote connectivity for health’s sake, ahead of the Federal election.

30 April 2019,  NRHA Media Release

2019 Election Charter infographic

30 April 2019,  Infographic

Health matters as much as coal and water: NRHA

Rural health needs greater focus to help undecided voters get clear about their choices ahead of the Federal Election on May 18, the National Rural Health Alliance says.

30 April 2019,  NRHA Media Release

NRHA welcomes oral health promise

The National Rural Health Alliance has welcomed the ALP’s announcement of a $2.4 billion Pensioner Dental Plan – providing access to free dental oral health care to 3 million older Australians.

Alliance CEO, Mark Diamond, said the move would provide relief to older people in rural communities who did not have access to such services.

29 April 2019,  NRHA Media Release

Rural Australia needs Allied Health Professionals

An incoming Federal Government needs to immediately address the critical shortage of Allied Health Professionals in rural, regional and remote Australia if the nation is to have any hope of making healthcare accessible to those regions.

23 April 2019,  NRHA Media Release

NRHA welcomes greater Indigenous role in health

The NRHA welcomes Labor’s planned $33 million attack on eradicating rheumatic heart disease, and its promise to give Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations a bigger role in delivering culturally appropriate primary healthcare services.

18 April 2019,  NRHA Media Release

Making it matter: rural people's health at stake

The National Rural Health Alliance has named four key areas an incoming Federal Government must address to help rural Australians get healthier and live longer.

16 April 2019,  NRHA Media Release

Rural health conference calls for urgent action in rural and remote communities on eve of federal election

Delegates at the 15th National Rural Health Conference have called for urgent action in rural and remote communities on the eve of a federal election.

27 March 2019,  NRHA Media Release

What our Members are saying this Election:

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine - Federal Election Statement 2019

Australian Healthcare and Hopsitals Association - A healthy Australia supported by the best possible healthcare system

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation - Aboriginal Health needs to be an Election Priority

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners - What will you ask your candidate this election?

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia - The health of country Australians depends on the 2019 Federal Election

Rural Doctors Association of Australia - Parties urged to continue big picture thinking on rural health


What other health organisations are saying:

Australian Medical Association - Key health issues for the 2019 Election

Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth - a series of children-related Election webinars

Cancer Council of Australia - Opposition’s skin cancer prevention campaign would save lives and money

Climate and Health Alliance - Open letter to political parties and candidates

Consumers Health Forum of Australia - Making Health Better:  priorities for the 2019 Federal Election

Dietitians Association of Australia - Nutrition should feed the Federal Election

Doctors for the Environment Australia - Prescription for a Health Australia

END RHD - END RHD Election Platform 2019

Grattan Institute - Commonwealth Orange Book 2019, Policy priorities for the federal government

Nursing bodies (ACM, APNA, CRANAplus, ACMHN, ANMF, ACN, ACNP, CDNM) - Nurses and midwives supporting the health of our community, Federal Election Priorities 2019

Palliative Care Australia - 2019 Federal Election Statement

Public Health Association of Australia - PHAA Immediate Policy Priorities 2019

Radiation Therapy for Regional Australia - Factsheet  Snapshot

Royal Australasian College of Physicians - Future-proofing the healthcare system

Snow Foundation - Funding for Rheumatic Heart disease will focus on community-led prevention and treatment

Suicide Prevention Australia - National Policy Platform

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations - Federal Election Platform 2019

What others are saying:

Croakey - Join Croakey in discussing the critical issues for #AusVotesHealth - join in the conversation and put rural into #AusVotesHealth

What the major Parties are saying:

Australian Greens - 2019 Policy Platform: World Class Universal Health

Building a future for all of us  /  Better access to health services for rural communities  /  Justice for First Nations Peoples

Australian Labor Party - Fair Go Action Plan  /  Extract of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Policy  /  Extract of Rural Health Policy

Liberal Party - Better Health Care

National Party - Putting locals first




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