The survey will inform our future policy and advocacy direction. With 2022 being a Federal election year, this is a great chance to make sure regional, rural and remote health issues feature prominently in the political debate.
The AMA Rural Health Issues Survey was last undertaken in 2019. It provided vital information on the key issues impacting on the delivery of rural and remote health services. The results of the survey have informed subsequent Government decisions particularly in addressing the need of investment in infrastructure and urgent workforce support such as reform to the Bonded Medical Places (BMP) program, establishment of John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program (JFPDP), expansion of the Distribution Priority Area (DPA) classification, and incentivising doctors into rural, remote and regional Australia by remitting all or part of their Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debt. Despite this, significant workforce retention challenges remain for rural and remote Australia.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inadequacy of the public hospital system across the country. It has also underlined the long-term under-resourcing of general practice as described in AMA Public Hospital Report Card 2021 and the AMA submission to the inquiry into the provision of general practitioner and related primary health services to outer metropolitan, rural, and regional Australians.
The survey should only take about 5 minutes to complete and all survey participants can go into the draw to win an RM Williams gift card valued at $500.
The 2022 AMA Rural Health Issues Survey will be open until 7 February 2022 and can be accessed by clicking here.