Push for fair Budget on rural health
With the Federal Budget coming up in the next few months, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia is urging the Federal Government to avoid shortchanging rural patients.
The association is calling for fairer outcomes for rural and remote patients, and warned that efficiencies in the health system could not be made at the cost of some of the poorest and most remote-living Australians.
RDAA president Dr Ewan McPhee said that although the Federal Government has made some positive announcements in the rural health space, one-third of remote Australians continue to be disadvantaged by poor access to local health services, a lack of Medicare funds, high rates of disease and injury, and a short life expectancy.
Member for Durack Melissa Price assured the Turnbull Government is committed to bridging the city-country divide in health services delivery by addressing workforce shortages in regional, rural and remote areas.
“The Government is tackling health workforce shortages in rural and remote areas through new, more focused approaches to scholarships and rural incentives,” she said.
“The aim is to better distribute the health workforce to ensure that the right health professionals with the right skills are working in the right areas — where they are most needed.”