Addressing inequity in rural health

Thursday, 25 May 2023
Doctor in background and patient on bed

Measures in the 2023–24 Federal Budget aimed at boosting the incentive to bulk bill – noting that the incentives increase with remoteness – is seen as a very good start, says National Rural Health Alliance Chief Executive Susi Tegen.

‘This will go some way to addressing equity in access to primary care, but does not address equity in rural Australia, where even these incentives will not keep primary care practices going (many are at risk of closing, if they have not already done so, because of financial unviability),’ a report published by Croakey Health Media on 25 May 2023 quoted Ms Tegen.

It added: ‘In addition, if there aren’t clinicians in those regions in the first place, due to work maldistribution, then the incentive will be underutilised. Market has often failed and is not always just “thin“, as sometimes referred to.’

Here’s the full report:

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