Remote Health and the 2009 Budget

13 May 2009

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.”

Con­tact:

Car­ole Tay­lor CEO CRANAplus on 0429 649 226
Christo­pher Cliffe Pres­i­dent CRANAplus on 0427 826 409