In 2022, bold health reform is needed to support rural communities. The March issue of Partyline outlines some of the innovative work being undertaken and advocated for by service providers, universities, researchers and peak organisations, to tackle the complex issues facing our rural health system.
For example, we hear from Associate Professor in General Practice and Rural Medicine Dr Sophia Couzos who worked with the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation to better the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Dr Couzos says, ‘The Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service model of care was effectively a game-changer as it flipped the health system power structures towards being more patient-centred, well before the term had even been invented.’
This type of wholesale change is needed to address the challenges unique to the rural health system. The National Rural Health Alliance is proposing a different model of primary health care called Rural Area Community Controlled Health Organisations (RACCHOs). RACCHOs are evidence-based and community-driven models of health care that build multidisciplinary teams and improve access to affordable, culturally safe health care when and where it is needed.
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