Shaping the 2018 Budget to improve rural health

  • National Rural Health Strategy sign

Development of a new National Rural Health Strategy and delineation of health service access standards for rural and remote communities are among the seven proposals put forward by the National Rural Health Alliance for consideration for the 2018-19 Australian Government Budget.

Each year the Alliance undertakes the key role of putting forward proposals to be considered in the formulation of the annual Federal Budget. The Alliance has proposed an ambitious program for this year’s Budget, designed to improve the health and wellbeing of the seven million people who live in rural and remote Australia. The proposals draw on the Alliance’s own research and policy development processes, including the key strategic goals that were agreed at the annual meeting of its 34 Member Bodies in September 2017.  In addition, the submission draws on the priorities identified by over 1,200 delegates at the Rural Health Conference held in Cairns in April 2017.

The full text of the submission is online.

Seven proposals for rural health:

INITIATIVE

BENEFIT

COST

1. Development of a new National Rural Health Strategy

In consultation with the rural health sector develop a vision and strategy for health reform and improved health service delivery in rural and remote Australia.

$1m over 2 years

2. Review the 2011 National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health

Assessment and evaluation of the progress that has been made since 2011 in order to establish benchmarks for a new National Rural Health Strategy.

$600k over 2 years

3. Collection and analysis of consumer views related to health in rural and remote Australia

Evidence of what programs and policies work to bridge the gap in health outcomes in rural and remote Australia.

 

$400k over 2 years

4. Delineation of Health Service Access Standards for rural and remote communities

 

A scalable definition of minimum standards for ensuring equitable access to health care services for people in rural and remote Australia.

 

$1m over 2 years

5. Development a framework for multi-professional rural generalist pathways

The identification of opportunities to leverage the medical rural generalist pathway to achieve efficient multi-professional rural workforce pathways which support evidence based integrated models of care and a sustainable rural workforce.

 

$500k over 2 years

6. Evaluation of the reach and impact of the Health Workforce Scholarship Program

Production of evidence to inform future targeting of bursaries and scholarships to address workforce maldistribution, under supply and retention in rural and remote Australia.

 

$150k over 1 year

7. Support for the National Rural Health Alliance

Improved capacity for the Alliance to provide leadership in the consultation of the rural health sector in the development of new initiatives, service models, new technologies and research to improve health outcomes for consumers in rural and remote areas.

$1m over 4 years

 

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