Push for fair Bud­get on ru­ral health

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

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.”

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