Community factors contribute to rural health

14 February 2019

Ensuring good health of people in rural and remote communities is a combination of many key factors.

These determinants of health – getting a good start in life, a good education and living in places that have good infrastructure that promotes health and wellbeing – form a core theme at the 15th National Rural Health Conference to be held in Hobart from March 24 to 27 March 2019.

Creating healthy and sustainable rural communities requires a collaboration of many different actors, each of whom play key roles in the day to day aspects of life in rural and remote regions.

Because the factors that contribute most to health and wellbeing lay outside the purview of the health care sector, this means that health professionals working in rural and remote areas must work as part of a broad cross-sectoral team to provide a range of key services.

This team includes people from a diverse range of sectors and services – police and the justice system, housing, education, transport, infrastructure, local government planners, non-government organisations and charities, the agricultural sector, natural resource management, the arts, and employment, to name a few.

The National Rural Health Conference will highlight the importance of the connections to the non-health care sector and in ensuring these services and are available to communities to create a healthy environment.

A pre-conference workshop hosted by the National Rural Health Alliance on Sunday 24 March, will be guided by experts, Sir Harry Burns, Professor Fran Baum AO and Dr John Boffa.

The theme of the 15th National Rural Health Conference is ‘Better together!’ and the pre-conference workshop looks at how health professionals can work better together with those who provide essential care, services and support outside the health care sector.

NRHA CEO, Mark Diamond, said the workshop will bring together members of this broad cross-sectoral team to explore factors and provide infrastructure and services that go beyond simply looking at what the health care sector does in contributing to rural communities’ health and wellbeing.

“Given the events that are happening in rural Australia at the moment, the fires in Tassie, the floods in Townsville, the drought conditions across much of the country and the fish deaths in New South Wales, it’s now more important than ever that health and wellbeing of rural people is front and centre,” Mark Diamond said.

“But the health care sector can’t do this alone. It’s got to be a team effort and this team is bigger than hospitals.

“It is vital to the future health of our rural communities are supported in the delivery of these services and logistics across the board, and the Conference workshop aims to highlight this.”

People interested in attending the pre-conference workshop on Determinants of health on Sunday March 24th or in finding out more about the 15th National Rural Health Conference, can find more information and the full conference program by visiting the Conference website at www.ruralhealth.org.au/15nrhc .

Media Enquiries: 

Allan Yates
Director Communications and Media Liaison     0421 150 229