The National Rural Health Alliance launched its 2019 Election Charter: Rural Health Matters! in Parliament House.
Tanya Lehmann highlighted the need for policy planners to understand that the normal market models for supplying services did not apply in rural areas. "There is no market out there so we have to collaborate in our regions to make it viable for health services and health professionals to go rural. That needs government support."
Alliance CEO Mark Diamond highlighted the growing gap in health outcomes for Indigenous Australians in rural areas. Indigenous rates of cancer deaths grew by 21 per cent in the 17 years to 2015 but fell by 13 per cent for non-Indigenous people. "We are going backwards, not forwards."
Regional Australia Institute Co-CEO Kim Houghton said that in all rural communities Australia-wide, health occupations topped the number of internet-listed job vacancies and that an additional 85,000 health jobs will be created across non-metropolitan Australia in the next five years. He welcomed the NRHA's push for getting allied health professionals into rural areas.
Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health Interim CEO Cath Maloney said it was time to fund allied health professionals into rural areas. "We can do this the same way as we have done for doctors. We know it works."
For more details about rural health in this election go to: www.ruralhealth.org.au/election19