4. Create a new National Rural Health Strategy

Australia’s current rural health strategy is based on a framework developed in 2011 and needs to be evaluated against this framework’s original objectives and updated to reflect changing workforce demands, connectivity and service delivery.

We seek a commitment from an incoming government to:

Create a new National Rural Health Strategy ($2m) that includes targets for improving access to health services, health promotion and for improving social determinants of health for rural people

Rationale

The National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health was endorsed in 2011 by the Standing Council on Health (now the Council of Australian Governments Health Council). It recognised the challenges of providing health care in rural, regional and remote Australia and the importance to all Australians of providing timely access to quality and safe health care services, no matter where people live. It was to guide all organisations engaged in planning, funding and delivering health services in rural, regional and remote Australia – governments, communities, local health service providers, advocacy and community groups and members of the public.

Since 2011 there has been no demonstrable improvement in the health outcomes experienced by the 7 million people who live in rural, regional and remote Australia. Nor has the strategic framework been evaluated for its use or to assess whether it’s meeting its objectives and what else is required to progress its intent. A new strategy would review this framework, its effectiveness, identify how widely it has been used and create a new blueprint for providing effective healthcare and encouraging healthier rural people into the third decade of the 21st century.

 

The Charter | Improve Indigenous health | Improve access to healthcare, especially by funding more allied health professionals into rural Australia | Expand the health research capacity of rural Australia | Create a new National Rural Health Strategy | National Rural Health Alliance - Member Body Organisations