The biennial National Rural Health Conference is the pre-eminent Australian event for people and organisations committed to improving rural and remote health and wellbeing. It has a unique reputation as a meeting place, for the exchange of positive solutions for the health needs of rural communities, and as the source of a strong and united voice on rural affairs.
The 15th Conference, in Hobart on 24-27 March 2019, will focus on the achievements of the past and the very bright future for rural and remote health in Australia.
It will be a clarion call for everyone involved to recognise the great things about rural Australia and to commit to even more collaboration, innovation and determination. Rural Australia is comprised of a wide range of wonderful places in which to live and work. It is the source of one third of Australia’s exports. In the health sector, it has a proud record of practical, multidisciplinary responses to the challenges of distance and scarce resources.
But we can do even better. Some essential health assets are still not available in rural areas. We can do even better on access to services, including through agreed health access standards for places of different size and other characteristics.
Governments at all levels say they recognise the special needs of rural Australia. But too often Federal, State and Territory governments have under-performed. We can do even better through a clearer focus on strategies and plans that are tailored to rural and remote areas, and on improving health system performance overall.
Rural community leaders and advocates work hard to represent our interests. But we can do even better through more effective communication among each other and with policy makers and researchers - particularly when it comes to the wellbeing and involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Rural health clinicians have proved their versatility and resilience time and time again. But we can do even better with more inter-disciplinary collaboration and targeted support right through from early training to retirement. Workforce distribution and mental health are two areas of particular need.
We do not look only to technology, or science, or governments, or just to one group of clinicians or experts to make things even better. It is a challenge for all of us - working together. We are proud of rural Australia. We are confident in its future. We will commit and re-commit to playing our parts.
In all of these ways we can do even better for health and wellbeing in rural and remote Australia.
Everything you need to know about the 15th National Rural Health Conference is at www.ruralhealth.org.au/15nrhc
To take up a sponsorship opportunity, call Leanne Coleman, Conference Manager at the National Rural Health Alliance on 02 6285 4660, or email [email protected]
To book an exhibition space go to: www.ruralhealth.org.au/15nrhc
We look forward to welcoming you to Hobart and together we can do even better!