The Australian Government are delivering a permanent Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner thanks to Parliament giving urgent support for ground-breaking legislation this week.
Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, said continuing and strengthening the Office will help deliver the Government’s key reforms and targeted rural health priorities to support practical change for communities.
“Our Coalition Government is passionate about ensuring rural Australians enjoy equitable access to our nation’s world-class health system.
“It shouldn’t matter that you live in Melbourne, Edenhope or Cohuna, all Australians deserve to have their voice heard when it comes to accessing local health care,” Dr Webster said.
“That’s why we established the office of National Rural Health Commissioner back in 2017 and why we today stand proudly beside our commitment to rural Australians with an ongoing Office.
“More than just continuing, we are strengthening the Office by broadening its scope and implementing Deputy Commissioners to provide specific advice on rural Allied health, Nursing, and Indigenous Health.
“No two rural communities are the same, which is why innovative and flexible models are needed to solve the complex challenges many face,” Dr Webster said.
“I am excited about the future of the office, what it means for people in the bush, it is very pleasing to see Parliament provide it urgent passage.
Regional Health Minister Coulton said the Office joins other successful programmes within the Government’s package of rural health reforms.
“We have delivered the $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy, which encompasses a suite of measures specifically designed to overcome the many challenges faced by rural communities in trying to attract medical and health professionals.
“Through the Murray Darling Medical Schools Network, the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund, and other programmes, we are delivering more opportunities regional students who in future will become rural doctors.”
The expanded Office will commence on 1 July 2020.