AMA & RDAA Call for Election Commitments to fix Rural Health

6 May 2016

The AMA and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) are calling on the major political parties ahead of the 2016 Federal election to commit to practical and affordable reforms to improve health services for people in rural and remote Australia.

The AMA and the RDAA have released their updated joint Rural Rescue Package – Building a Sustainable Future for Rural Practice – which sets out an achievable plan to build a strong rural medical workforce to underpin and build expanded health resources and services in rural Australia.

The Package details strategies to increase the number of doctors to work in rural Australia and stay for the long term, and programs to ensure ongoing skills development for the rural medical workforce.

The AMA and the RDAA firmly believe that building, expanding, and upskilling the rural medical and health workforce is an important first step in ensuring improved health services, resources, and infrastructure for the long term.

The first tier of the Package is designed to encourage more GPs, other specialists, and registrars to work in rural areas. It takes into account the greater isolation of rural practice, both for doctors and their families.

The second tier is aimed at boosting the number of doctors in rural areas with essential advanced skills training in a range of areas such as obstetrics, surgery, anaesthetics, acute mental health, and emergency medicine. Rural areas need doctors with strong skills in these areas to ensure that communities have access to appropriate acute services locally, including on-call emergency services.

Full media release