The National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) has welcomed the release today of the Report of the NSW Legislative Council’s Inquiry into Health outcomes and access to health and hospital services in rural, regional and remote New South Wales.
The Alliance is particularly pleased to see that a key recommendation of the Committee is the rollout across NSW of the Alliance’s Rural Area Community Controlled Health Organisation (RACCHO) model of rural health care. The recommendation states that the NSW Government work with the Australian Government to establish a RACCHO pilot, with a view to evaluating and refining it for roll-out in all areas of NSW where existing rural health services do not meet community needs.
“The Committee’s report acknowledges the significant and ongoing challenges of attracting and retaining a rural health workforce and the Alliance’s RACCHO model is an evidence-based solution to addressing these workforce challenges”, said Alliance CEO Dr Gabrielle O’Kane.
“Metropolitan models of health care delivery do not work in rural areas”, Dr O’Kane said. “The circumstances of rural and remote communities require models of health care designed to meet the specific needs of rural communities”.
Building on and complementing the successful ACCHO model, the RACCHO model is driven, developed, and governed by local communities, employ a multi-disciplinary team designed to address the professional, financial and social barriers to attracting and retaining a rural health workforce and is funded to recognise the different operating environment of rural health delivery. Further information on the RACCHO model is available here.
The Alliance has been arguing that ‘bold’ reform is needed to achieve equitable health outcomes for rural, regional and remote communities. The Committee Report states that the scale of the challenges demands 'big thinking' to support the roll out of RACCHOs.
“Rural and remote Australians are waiting for “bold” reform and “big thinking” responses to rural health challenges. Rolling out the RACCHO model would be a significant move in this direction” Dr O’Kane said.
Dr Gabrielle O’Kane, Chief Executive Officer, 0417 464 216 [email protected]