The National Rural Health Alliance, Australia’s umbrella rural health organisation, visited Parliament on Monday to call for action to improve health outcomes for the 7 million people living outside Australia’s major cities.
Chair of the Alliance, Tanya Lehmann, said that the Alliance wants to see healthy and sustainable regional communities, but sadly that is not the reality in Australia at the moment.
“We have to stop thinking about the silo of health and start thinking about the broader environment that makes it sustainable.
“We want to see additional investment in education and training pathways for health professionals in rural Australia, from vocational right through to postgraduate education.
“The Alliance also calls on the Government to commit to flexible and integrated funding and support in rural areas—not just in health care but in education, aged care, disability and other social services.
“Connectivity in rural areas is also incredibly important to health and wellbeing. That’s why we call on the Government to invest in digital health infrastructure and do more to provide high-speed internet access in rural and remote areas.
“We know what the issues people in rural and remote Australia are facing and the Alliance is well-placed to provide expert advice to parliamentarians about possible solutions,” said Tanya Lehmann.
The Alliance is comprised of 41 member organisations representing rural health consumers, health professionals, service providers, educators, students, and the Indigenous health sector.
Member organisations are meeting in Canberra this week for CouncilFest, the annual gathering of Council members.