In a clear demonstration that the National Rural Health Alliance is achieving strategic outcomes, the Board has reappointed its existing executive for another two-year term. Chairperson Nicole O’Reilly, Deputy Chair Stephen Gourley and Treasurer Monica Barolits-McCabe will lead the rural health peak body throughout 2021-22 as the Alliance renews its strategic direction.
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 5 October 2021, the Chairperson welcomed newly elected Board Director Jacqueline Emery, CEO of Royal Far West, and thanked retiring Director Viney Joshi for his contribution.
In the 2020-21 Annual Report, Nicole underscored the Alliance’s role of improving health outcomes and access to health services for the 7-million people living in rural, regional and remote Australia. During the COVID-19 emergency response the Alliance worked closely with the Australian Government Department of Health to support the rural sector and advocated for ‘health equity’ in all aspects of decision-making in relation to the pandemic.
The Board also thanked Alliance Members and acknowledged the work of their health professional members, including those in GP practices, hospitals, Aboriginal health services and pharmacies, who have been directly and indirectly engaged in the pandemic response and vaccination program.
The other key strategic priority for the Alliance has been developing a new model of rural health care called RACCHOs, which is designed to overcome rural health workforce barriers. Other strategic outcomes are outlined in the Alliance’s Strategic Plan Indicators of Success.