Australians living in rural and remote communities have less access to health and medical professionals than those living in our cities. The access to doctors in remote areas, for example, is between 45 to 67 per cent of the level of access enjoyed by those in metropolitan areas.
It is expected that this maldistribution will continue without significant national effort. Health Workforce Australia (HWA) is developing a National Rural and Remote Health Workforce Innovation and Reform (RRHWIR) strategy and implementation plan, that aim to redress the imbalance through:
An extensive stakeholder consultation process to inform the development of the strategy is nearing completion.
Once completed, the strategy will be provided to Health Ministers for approval in 2013.
Pending this approval, HWA will identify a range of activities to deliver the strategy, which will form the basis of an implementation plan.
There is a big divide between the health of metropolitan Australia and that of Australians living in remote and rural areas. There is also a divide in terms of the health services available. In essence, if you live in rural or remote Australia your health will on average be poorer, and your access to health services more limited.
This RRHWIR strategy will outline multiple strategies that, if implemented, will redress this health and health workforce imbalance, and give rural and remote Australians a fairer go.
The strategy focuses on key areas including: capacity and skills development, leadership, workforce policy and planning, workforce funding and regulation, and workforce reform targetted at more effective, efficient and accessible service delivery.
The RRHWIR strategy has been informed by an extensive consultation involving more than 700 stakeholders across 19 metropolitan, regional, rural and remote locations and included health, education and regulatory bodies. Eighty-six written submissions were received.
The RRHWIR strategy complements the National Health Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategic Framework for Action 2011-2015 (pdf), the National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health 2012 (PDF), and the findings of Health Workforce 2025.
Project Manager, Workforce Innovation and Reform
Tel: 03 8624 5720