Peak body welcomes Rural Health Commissioner extension

12 June 2020

The National Rural Health Alliance, the peak body for rural health in Australia, welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement today that they will extend the office of the National Rural Health Commissioner past its current expiry of 30 June 2020.

“This is a good move from the Australian Government because the work of the National Rural Health Commissioner clearly isn’t over yet,” said CEO Dr Gabrielle O’Kane.

“There is still a great need to improve access and quality of services in rural, regional and remote Australia and to improve issues around the rural health workforce and education pathways.

“The office of the National Rural Health Commissioner has been doing important work since its establishment in 2017. It’s good news that that work can continue and will be enhanced by the appointment of Deputy Commissioners.

“Now that COVID-19 has disrupted existing health policy and planning there is now a need more than ever for continuity and to pick back up some of this important work.”

Dr O’Kane thanked outgoing Commissioner Emeritus Professor Paul Worley for his work since his appointment in 2017.

“Professor Worley has been a strong advocate for rural health and has worked hard to build relationships with the sector, including the Alliance and our member organisations.

“We look forward to working with the new Commissioner and hope that they will be able to build on Professor Worley’s work.”

The National Rural Health Commissioner is an independent statutory office holder who provides policy advice to the Government on rural health. Professor Worley has held the office since it was established in 2017.

Media Enquiries: 

Tim Hurd 0447 427 292 | tim@ruralhealth.org.au