Widening gap in health outcomes between city and country children

Thursday, 26 October 2017
Silhouettes on red earth

A new report prepared by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s Centre for Community Child Health has revealed a growing divide in health and wellbeing between children in remote Australia and their peers in urban areas.

The publication, prepared for Royal Far West, shows that children in remote Australia are five times more likely to suffer developmental problems compared to city kids. It also indicates that one in three country children are unable to access the health services they need; and poor access to doctors and health services for young children living in regional cities and communities means they are more likely to end up homeless, unemployed, incarcerated and with personal relationship difficulties.

The effects of such disproportionate levels of disadvantage are compounded due to poor access to appropriate services, such as allied health services and paediatricians.

To address this deficit, Royal Far West – one of the National Rural Health Alliance’s 36 Member Bodies, is proposing a nationally funded integrated approach to Early Childhood Development. Royal Far West maintains that such an approach would focus on greater awareness of the problem, earlier intervention, and improved access to allied health services in rural communities, including face-to-face and tele-health solutions.

For more information, and to download the report, visit http://www.royalfarwest.org.au/invisible-children