Partyline #60, September 2017 is out now

Monday, 2 October 2017

Affordable, acceptable and appropriate access to health services for country people was the central theme to emerge at the recent annual gathering of the Council of the National Rural Health Alliance. In his editorial in this issue of Partyline the Alliance’s Interim CEO Mark Diamond outlines the outcomes of this major meeting.

We learn about roving podiatrist, Sara Coombes, whose foot care services for diabetic patients living in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory are reducing the risks of infection, complications and amputation.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service outlines how corporate partnerships are bringing new income streams and enabling it to expand services, while also bringing value to the corporate partners.

Articles from the Rural Doctors’ Association of Australia and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners both refer to the imminent appointment of a National Rural Health Commissioner and the implementation of a national Rural Generalist Pathway. The RDAA argues that it will be critical for the Commissioner to work actively for strategies that deliver more of all types of health practitioners to rural and remote Australia. The RACGP has released a position statement on rural generalism that sets out the parameters to be considered in determining the Rural Generalist Pathway.

From country kid to rural doctor? Since 2000, more than 2,000 medical students with a rural background have graduated from university with support from the Rural Australia Medical Undergraduate Scholarship (RAMUS) Scheme. A research project has investigated whether the Scheme has impacted on the doctor shortage in rural and remote Australia.

This Partyline also reports on medical student volunteers taking part in an immersion program in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Lands in which they learn about community life and culture and deliver an interactive and fund holiday program for the local children.

NBN Co reports on its new wholesale plans for the Sky Muster satellite service which should deliver better value broadband to homes and businesses in rural and remote Australia.

We congratulate the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet which this month is celebrating 20 years of bringing evidence-based knowledge and information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to the health sector.

Coming up in October is Anti-Poverty Week, an opportunity to speak out about causes and consequences of poverty in rural and remote Australia. And in November there will be a workshop to contribute to developing and action plan to guide equity of access and outcomes for older people in regional, rural and remote Australia.

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