June 2019 edition of AJRH now online

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

What impact has Medicare had on rural Australia?

Editor in Chief Prof Russell Roberts charts Bob Hawke's contribution and asks these question in his editorial.

Vale Bob Hawke

"One of his many major reforms was the introduction of Medicare. Consistent with his commitment to equal opportunity, decent quality of life and universal access to education and health care, Medicare is arguably the most significant reform in the history of Australian health care."

He also asks: "Thirty‐six years on from its introduction how has Medicare matured and what has been its impact?"

While Roberts records that the headline performance indicators for Medicare are good they have not been shared equally across Australia. For Australian rural communities the situation is disappointingly familiar.

"Access to health services, disease burden, comorbidity rates, suicide rates and life expectancy are still relatively worse for rural Australians. Providing integrated care continues to be a challenge with avoidable, premature death due to cancer, respiratory disease and heart disease for people living with mental illness 10 times that of premature death due to suicide. Per capita, rural Australians have 63% the number of GPs of our city cousins. For allied health professionals, the disparity is even worse."

His analysis covers the the need for integrated care solutions in a fragmented health system. [read more]

Working to make rural health matter

In an op-ed article which underpins the Alliance’s Election Charter for the 2019 Election, Mark Diamond (CEO NRHA) affirms the ongoing need for action on the following key elements:

  • improving Indigenous health which should encompass endorsement of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and to establish a Makarrata Commission
  • improved access to healthcare, especially by funding more allied health professionals into rural Australia
  • expand the health research capacity of rural Australia
  • a new National Rural Health Strategy

Mark comments: "The charter's suggestions are both pragmatic and achievable. They require a modest investment yet promise substantial benefits in improving health outcomes for people in rural Australia."

[read more]



Volume 27, Issue 3 includes:


Continuity of care for patients with chronic conditions from rural or remote Australia: A systematic review

Tamara D. Street BPsych(Hons), MOrgPsych, PhD, Klaire Somoray BPsych(Hons), Georgia C. Richards BSc(Hons), Sarah J. Lacey BBus(InternatBus), GradDipPsych, BBehavSc(Psych)(Hons)


The role of agricultural professionals in identifying, mitigating and supporting farming families during times of stress: Findings of a qualitative study

Nicky Stanley‐Clarke BSW (Hons), MSW (Hons), PhD

Metabolic syndrome in rural Australia: An opportunity for primary health care

Jonine Jancey PhD, Anthony James PhD, Andy Lee PhD, Peter Howat PhD, Andrew P. Hills PhD, Annie S. Anderson PhD, Cassandra Bordin BSc Hlth Prom, BSc Nutr, Krysten Blackford PhD

Patterns of prostate‐specific antigen testing by remoteness of residence and socio‐economic status: An Australian population‐based study

Ross J. S. Calopedos MD, BMed, BA, MS (Urol), Albert Bang B.Comm M. Biostat, Peter Baade PhD, Xue Q. Yu PhD, Stephen Ruthven MBBS, FRACS (Urol), Manish I. Patel MBBS, MMed, PhD, FRACS (Urol), David P. Smith MPH, PhD

Young bisexual women's sexual health care experiences in Australian rural general practice

Ruby Grant PhD, Meredith Nash PhD

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation for severe aortic stenosis in the Australian regional population

Sarang Paleri MD, BBiomed, Jodie Li‐Mei Tham MD, BSc, David Jin MD, BBiomed, Yee Sen Chan MBBS, Christine Wright RN, Arul Baradi MBChB, Robert J. Whitbourn MBBS, BMedSc, BSc(Hons), FRACP, FCSANZ, Heath S. L. Adams MBBS (Hons), BMedSci, Sonny C. Palmer BA, BSc, MBBS, DMedSci, FRACP, FCSANZ

Snapshot of medication abortion provision in the primary health care setting of regional and rural Victoria

Caroline de Moel‐Mandel PhD, Melissa Graham PhD, Ann Taket PhD

More than just numbers! Perceptions of remote area nurse staffing in Northern Territory Government health clinics

Terry Dunbar BBus, MEd, Lisa Bourke BSc, BSW, MSc, PhD, Lorna Murakami‐Gold BSc

Otitis externa‐climatic associations and evidence‐based management strategies for Australian practice

Caitlin Chidlow MBBS, John van Bockxmeer FRACGP, FACRRM, MBBS


Compression garment service model: Facilitating access to compression garments through workforce and service redesign

Fiona Hall DPsych, BPsych(Hons), GCAcuteCare, GDClinHyp, Susan Gordon PhD, BaAppSc(Physio), GCEd, GDMngt, Julie Hulcombe BSc, DNut&Diet, GDHlthEd, MHP, Catherine Stephens B.Phty, Gradcert Health Ser Mgt


Feasibility trial of the concept of ‘health age’ as a prompt for increasing regular physical activity in rural Australian adults

James Dollman PhD, Jemima Gauthier BAppSc, Carley Gaden BHlthSc, Alexander Steinert BHlthSc

Insight into the exercise advice pregnant women receive from their medical practitioners

Melanie J. Hayman PhD, Peter Reaburn PhD, Stephanie J. Alley PhD, Camille E. Short PhD


There is no “I” in rural research capacity building

Cheri Bethune MD, MClSc, Thomas Heeley MASP, Wendy Graham MD, CCFP, FCFP, Shabnam Asghari MD, PhD


Note:  Individual members of Friends of the Alliance receive a complimentary subscription to the Australian Journal of Rural Health.

Join Friends here