Remote Health and the 2009 Budget
The move to broaden the PBS and MBS to nurse practitioners and eligible midwives is a small step in the right direction, and is a clear recognition that there are multiple professions in the health field with the capacity to safely meet the needs of consumers. People living in remote and rural areas have poorer health and more difficulty accessing services.
CRANAplus applauds the initiatives to entice doctors into the remote and rural sector, but are disappointed that the incentives are not being offered to other health professionals. Currently remote area nurses, midwives and Indigenous health workers meet 80% of the health care needs in remote Australia.
CRANAplus believes that health care in remote areas cannot be provided through the traditional medical model of care. A true multi-disciplinary team requires equity, something that was not seen in this budget.
It is very encouraging to see that the “Closing the Gap” strategy is being supported, including increasing expansions of health checks for Indigenous Australians, as is the increase of eye, ear and oral health of remote Indigenous children.
CRANAplus is heartened to see the development of a new instrument for measuring ‘rural and remote’, based on 2006 ABS data. The old instruments are outdated and not reflective of the current situation.
Carole Taylor, CEO of CRANAplus today said, “There is a clear recognition that health delivery in the remote sector is challenging. It is also recognised that health professionals have a job to do and that we need assistance to do it. No one ever gets everything they want, especially when times are tough, but let’s hope that by working together, we can make a real improvement.”
Carole Taylor CEO CRANAplus on 0429 649 226
Christopher Cliffe President CRANAplus on 0427 826 409