COVID-19 update

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is trying times for all of us, and particularly those working in the health sector. It’s also difficult for rural communities who are still recovering from the bushfires.

On a policy level, the Alliance is making sure that rural communities are considered in the government response. There are issues around workforce planning, supporting rural health care professionals, ensuring a proper supply of PPE is available, the need to protect vulnerable remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and also the need to support communities that are still recovering from bushfires. We have been highlighting these issues in the media in recent days – for example here is a link to an interview on Radio National Life Matters with CEO Gabrielle O’Kane.

We are constantly in touch with the Department of Health and we continue to raise specific issues directly with them, as well as through other channels such as social media and media interviews. We are also pleased to have a seat at the table at a range of meetings and policy discussions with the federal government. Now more than ever it is important that we are a strong voice for rural health.

Unfortunately, the 7th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium scheduled to be held in Alice Springs in May was postponed last week.  We are investigating alternate ways of delivering what was shaping up to be an outstanding and high-quality program and will advise details as soon as possible.

All Alliance staff are now working from home, but we continue to be here to represent our member bodies and to stand up for rural communities. Please continue to contact us as normal on 02 6285 4660 or nrha@ruralhealth.org.au