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.
"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]
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."
Volume 27, Issue 3 includes:
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)
Nicky Stanley‐Clarke BSW (Hons), MSW (Hons), PhD
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
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
Ruby Grant PhD, Meredith Nash PhD
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
Caroline de Moel‐Mandel PhD, Melissa Graham PhD, Ann Taket PhD
Terry Dunbar BBus, MEd, Lisa Bourke BSc, BSW, MSc, PhD, Lorna Murakami‐Gold BSc
Caitlin Chidlow MBBS, John van Bockxmeer FRACGP, FACRRM, MBBS
QUALITY IMPROVEMENT REPORT
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
James Dollman PhD, Jemima Gauthier BAppSc, Carley Gaden BHlthSc, Alexander Steinert BHlthSc
Melanie J. Hayman PhD, Peter Reaburn PhD, Stephanie J. Alley PhD, Camille E. Short PhD
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
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.