Media Release Archive

243 documents.
Title Date
Nothing new for small rural towns in after-hours care announcement
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has said there is little to be upbeat about for rural communities in the announcement about after-hours care by the new Federal Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek. “It is a case of more of the same for small rural communities where doctors are already providing care 24 hours a day, seven days a week in hospitals and surgeries” said RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara. “From 1 July 2013, doctors providing this comprehensive service will have thousands of dollars a year ripped out of their practices when funding from the after-hours incentives component in the Practice Incentives Program is diverted to Medicare Locals."
29/12/2011
RDAA urges new minister to address key issues
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the appointment of Tanya Plibersek MP as the new Federal Health Minister, and appealed to her to “urgently address” critical issues that are impacting on the future delivery of rural health services across Australia. “RDAA had some involvement with Ms Plibersek when she was Federal Minister for the Status of Women and as the Minister for Human Services” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said. “In those portfolios, we appreciated her willingness to listen to our views. “We look forward to working with her now as Federal Health Minister, particularly in resolving some major issues that threaten the future sustainability of rural healthcare in this country."
12/12/2011
UGPA media release -- Genuine consultation not lip service with GPs
United General Practice Australia (UGPA) leaders have warned the Commonwealth and State Governments to ensure there is genuine consultation with GP groups on primary health care policy and reform or risk alienating the core sector of the reform process. During a meeting today in Canberra, UGPA reiterated the need for better consultation and communication about the role of Medicare Locals.
12/12/2011
RDAA / RDA NSW media release -- Rural doctors welcome NSW Government support for rural generalist pathway
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) have welcomed an announcement by the NSW Government that it will introduce a rural generalist training program in NSW. The program’s purpose will be to deliver more doctors with advanced skills to NSW rural communities. NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, announced the Government’s commitment to implement the program while speaking at the NSW Rural Doctors Network and RDA NSW annual conference in Sydney at the weekend. The Government is currently forming a working group to further develop the program. “It is great to see yet another state investing in a rural generalist training program, to deliver more doctors with advanced skills to rural and remote towns” RDA NSW President, Dr David Richmond, said.
06/12/2011
Doctors ‘very concerned’ at looming after-hours arrangements
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says rural doctors are becoming increasingly concerned that looming changes to funding arrangements for after-hours medical services could impact on their ability to continue providing after-hours care to their local communities. From July 2013, three federal Practice Incentive Payments (PIPs) that have supported rural practices to provide after-hours care will be discontinued, with the funding transferred to Medicare Locals. This will leave Medicare Locals with the responsibility for planning after-hours services, and the power to determine whether existing arrangements will continue to be supported. RDAA is concerned that this may lead to a reduction in after-hours funding support for small rural practices or a centralisation of services to larger regional centres, forcing rural patients to travel long distances to access after-hours care.
29/11/2011
Infrastructure funding provides concrete support for rural practices
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed further funding of rural medical practice infrastructure by the Federal Government through the latest round of the Primary Care Infrastructure Grants program. The program provides grants to assist rural and urban practices to increase consulting rooms, expand treatment areas, provide additional space for allied health services, and make more space within thepractices to train medical students and young doctors. The Government has announced that, through this second round, about $21 million in grants has been shortlisted for general practices in regional and rural Australia.
28/11/2011
Rural doctor recognised for significant and dedicated service
ACRRM-RDAA Peter Graham ‘Cohuna’ Award 2011 A doctor who has provided exceptional medical service to his rural community for more than three decades has received the ACRRM-RDAA Peter Graham ‘Cohuna’ Award for 2011. Dr Les Woollard, who has practised in the rural NSW town of Moree for the past 31 years, also received the award for his outstanding advocacy in the area of rural medicine and rural health.
24/11/2011
RDAQ media release -- Travel subsidy a healthy start
THE Rural Doctors Association of Queensland has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the LNP to double travel and accommodation subsidies for rural and regional Queenslanders. RDAQ President, Dr Ewen McPhee, has responded to the LNP’s commitment to double the travel subsidy from 15 cents per km to 30 cents per km, and double the accommodation subsidy from $30 to $60 per person for patients forced to travel for treatment and medical care. Dr McPhee, who is based in Emerald, said the increase was warranted given that rural patients have poorer access to specialist care frequently leading to poorer health outcomes.
22/11/2011
Proposed pathway 'great news' for rural SA communities
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the release of a South Australian Government report that proposes the introduction of an advanced rural skills training pathway to attract doctors to rural and remote practice, and provide them with the skills needed to practise confidently and competently in rural settings.
18/11/2011
RDA NSW and 'The Land' media release -- Country NSW medical students urged to apply for 'significant' scholarships
Medical students from country NSW, who are commencing the second year of their degree in 2012, are being encouraged to apply for 'The Land' and Rural Doctors Association of NSW’s Rural Medical Scholarships. This is the second year that the scholarships are being offered. The two scholarships, each of$7500, aim to support medical students from country NSW to undertake their studies, given those who are raised in the bush are the most likely to return to the bush to practise after graduation.
14/11/2011
RDASA media release -- Rural doctors welcome SA government support for a rural generalist pathway
The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) has welcomed the release of an SA Government commissioned report that supports the establishment of a rural generalist training pathway in SA. Country Health SA commissioned the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency (RDWA) to manage the consultation and development process around the 'Road to Rural General Practice' report. It followed concerns expressed by RDASA and others that rural SA is facing a looming workforce crisis, with many of the state’s existing rural doctors reaching retirement but not being replaced by the next generation of rural generalist doctors trained in the advanced medical skills needed in country areas.
14/11/2011
Rural doctors applaud plain packaging bill
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has congratulated the Senate on passing the Tobacco Plain Packaging Bill, given the dramatic impact it could have on cutting smoking rates in rural and regional Australia. “This initiative will have enormous and positive impacts on health in Australia and indeed the world” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said.
14/11/2011
New agency welcome, but must 'show teeth'
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the establishment of the Federal Government’s new rural health agency, Rural and Regional Health Australia, saying it is recognition of the need to improve access to healthcare for country Australians. But it has warned that the agency must be prepared to ‘show its teeth’ in fighting for additional rural health funding within the Government and bureaucracy. RDAA has also urged the agency to adopt a formal regime of ‘rural proofing’, under which existing and proposed federal health policies would be carefully assessed to ensure they are not adversely impacting on local healthcare models that are already working well in rural communities.
09/11/2011
Committed, passionate GP from Gunnedah named Westpac RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year
Dr Grahame Deane from the NSW town of Gunnedah has been recognised for his commitment, passion and enthusiasm towards rural medicine and towards his community and awarded the Westpac RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year Award for 2011. Dr Deane received the award at a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2011, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Alice Springs on Saturday night.
02/11/2011
Doctor in flood-ravaged Victorian town named Westpac RDAA-ACRRM Rural Registrar of the Year
Victorian registrar, Dr Adele van der Merwe, has been awarded Westpac RDAA-ACRRM Rural Registrar of the Year, in recognition of her dedication, hard work and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty during her year-long tenure in the town of Charlton. Dr van der Merwe was presented the award during a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2011, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Alice Springs on Saturday night.
02/11/2011
Ballarat medical student and rural health advocate wins prestigious national award
A fourth year medical student from Ballarat in rural Victoria—who is studying medicine at the University of NSW—has been awarded this year’s Westpac RDAA Medical Student of the Year Award for her dedication to, and many achievements in, the rural health sector. Francesca Garnett received the prestigious award at a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2011, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Alice Springs on Saturday night.
02/11/2011
Rural doctors give troubled classification system a serious 'hands down' at national conference
A medico-political session at the recent national Rural Medicine Australia conference in Alice Springs has seen rural and remote doctors from across Australia again showing their strong concerns over the troubled Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system. When President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Paul Mara, asked the 150 rural doctors at the session to raise their hand if they thought the ASGC-RA had been a positive development for their community, the room was silent and there was not a single hand to be seen. Federal Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, and Federal Shadow Health Minister, Peter Dutton, were at the session and witnessed the strong message from the floor that the ASGC-RA has been bad news for many rural and remote towns.
31/10/2011
Rural doctors major national conference this Thursday to Sunday, Alice Springs
Country doctors from across Australia will converge on Alice Springs this Thursday to Sunday for a major national conference, Rural Medicine Australia 2011 (RMA 2011). The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Rural Generalism – the future of sustainable medical services’, and the delegates will be focused on plotting a course to promote the delivery of more doctors and other health professionals to the bush, and better access to quality health care for rural and remote Australians.
25/10/2011
Country doctors to forge the future of sustainable medical services at major national conference
Rural doctors will be taking the latest in rural and remote medical skills, knowledge, and issues to the heart of Australia next week as they gather in Alice Springs for their key national conference, Rural Medicine Australia 2011 (RMA 2011). The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Rural Generalism – the future of sustainable medical services’, and the delegates will be focused on plotting a course to promote the delivery of more doctors and other health professionals to the bush, and better access to quality health care for rural and remote Australians.
19/10/2011
Milestone for college dedicated to rural and remote medicine
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the full accreditation of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) by the Australian Medical Council (AMC), thus confirming its place as one of the nation’s specialist Colleges. Dr Paul Mara, President of RDAA, particularly welcomed the recent AMC assessment that commended the College’s support for flexible training arrangements, its development of online learning and assessment, and its professional development program – innovations that enable doctors in rural and remote areas to access high quality support and training.
14/10/2011
Media Alert - Rural Medicine Australia 2011 - Alice Springs
More than 300 senior doctors, registrars, junior doctors, medical students and allied health professionals will be in Alice Springs for Rural Medicine Australia 2011 (RMA 2011), Australia’s biggest rural doctor conference. RMA 2011 will take the latest in rural and remote medical skills, knowledge, and issues to the heart of the country where attendees will be discussing future directions for rural healthcare in Australia.
14/10/2011
Rural doctors welcome Senate Inquiry on health services in the bush
There is resounding approval from rural doctors around Australia for the Senate Inquiry, announced today, into the factors affecting health services in the bush – in particular the Rural Relocation Incentive Grant scheme. Dr Paul Mara, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) thanked Senator Fiona Nash (Nationals Senator for NSW) and Dr Andrew Laming (Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health Services and Indigenous Health) for their persistence in calling for this inquiry.
13/10/2011
RDA NSW -- Rural doctors thank NSW Government for helping rural patients
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) has today thanked the NSW Government for increasing the assistance available to rural patients who have to travel for medical treatment. Dr Tilak Dissanayake, President of RDA NSW, said that the boost to the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme, worth $28 million over four years, was well overdue and will make a real difference to patients in the bush.
23/09/2011
More Aussie towns big losers under troubled classification system
More small rural towns across Australia are now big losers under the Federal Government’s troubled Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system. The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) today released more case studies of towns that are being unfairly impacted by the ASGC-RA, this time in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.
23/09/2011
Patient controlled e-health records: Better support needed to ensure rural uptake
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned that rural practices will need adequate support to ensure the success of a Patient Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) system in the bush. RDAA was responding to comments made this week by the Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, that at this stage no special rebate will be paid to doctors to cover their time in creating health summaries for PCEHRs. RDAA wrote to the Minister earlier this month advising that, without such a rebate, many rural practices will find it difficult to meet the challenges associated with implementing a PCEHR system.
16/09/2011
Review of troubled system confirms problems…but lacks solutions
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says a review of the troubled Australian Standard Geographic Classification - Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system confirms there are significant geographic anomalies in the system, but ignores main areas of concern about how these anomalies are negatively impacting on rural health services. RDAA is also significantly concerned at claims by the Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, that the review found that overall the ASGC-RA system is ‘working well’.
07/09/2011
Country Victorians disadvantaged by a line on a map -- case study only
The number of voices calling for a review into the ASGC-RA is growing into a chorus as the number of rural towns disadvantaged by anomalous boundary lines defining their ASGC classification is becoming clear. In many cases, the boundary between RA2 and RA3 zones are mere metres from the location of a town’s medical practice. There are often less incentives paid to doctors working in smaller rural towns than are paid to doctors in larger regional centres that may only be a 30 minute drive up the road. These anomalous boundary lines are making it even harder for small towns to attract doctors to work in their communities.
05/09/2011
A line in the sand – medical services in Victorian towns affected by random zone boundaries
More examples of country towns disadvantaged by anomalous boundaries of the new system determining the incentives paid to rural doctors are emerging every day. Medical practices in some rural towns are mere metres from a boundary that would mean they could offer greater incentives to attract and retain doctors than larger regional centres that are now classified the same.
05/09/2011
Rural review should be treated with caution
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) said the report signalling an end to the rural doctor drought raises more questions than it answers. RDAA has warned that substantial work is needed to ensure that the predictive assumptions on which the review of rural medical workforce initiatives report is based are accurate.
02/09/2011
Rural doctors work to stamp out violence against country professionals
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is working to stamp out violence in rural workplaces by helping develop a ‘working safe’ framework to assist health and other professionals based in rural communities. Development of the framework is being funded by the Australian Government, and follows a Working safe in rural and remote Australia roundtable convened by RDAA and other organisations in 2009.
22/08/2011
An outback NSW town…or a major coastal city? Are they really the same?
Under the ASGC-RA, many small rural towns across NSW are now competing directly with Hobart, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville and other major regional cities for doctors. This means that doctors working in small towns like Hay, Cowra and Deniliquin receive the same or even lower relocation and retention payments than they would by working in the larger regional cities! NSW’s small rural towns already faced uphill battles recruiting enough doctors to service their populations!now things have got worse. Here are just a few examples:
19/08/2011
Rural NSW towns miss out under ASGC-RA system - case study only
Under the ASGC-RA, many small rural towns across NSW are now competing directly with Hobart, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville and other major regional cities for doctors. This means that doctors working in small towns like Hay, Cowra and Deniliquin receive the same or even lower relocation and retention payments than they would by working in the larger regional cities! NSW’s small rural towns already faced uphill battles recruiting enough doctors to service their populations…now things have got worse.
10/08/2011
An outback NSW town…or a major coastal city? Are they really the same?
Apparently so…at least according to the Federal Government. Under its Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system, doctors working in a major coastal city like Townsville and Cairns now receive the same level of relocation and retention payments as those working in Hay and numerous other small towns in outback NSW, because they are now all classified as being in an ‘Outer Regional’ (RA3) location. What’s worse, small towns in NSW—like Cowra, Deniliquin, Gundagai, Cootamundra and many others—are now classified as being ‘Inner Regional’ (RA2), or less remote than Townsville and Cairns, meaning that doctors receive lower relocation and retention payments to work in these towns than they do to work in Townsville and Cairns! These small NSW towns are now also competing for doctors with Hobart and other large regional cities (as these cities are also classified as ‘Inner Regional’ or RA2 locations), despite the fact that the larger centres can offer additional supports and services for doctors and their families.
10/08/2011
North Queensland towns miss out under ASGC-RA system
Under the ASGC-RA classification system, many small rural towns across North Queensland now have the same classification level as the major regional centres of Townsville and Cairns (RA3, outer regional). This is despite the fact that Townsville and Cairns each have between 150,000 and 200,000 people, major hospitals, considerable specialist support, much lower on-call requirements for local doctors, and a wide range of educational and leisure facilities. The smaller towns are now directly competing with Townsville and Cairns for doctors, as the relocation and retention payments available are exactly the same. Queensland’s small rural towns already faced uphill battles recruiting enough doctors to service their populations!now things have got worse. Here are just a few examples:
04/08/2011
North Queensland towns miss out under ASGC-RA system - case study only
Under the ASGC-RA classification system, many small rural towns across North Queensland now have the same classification level as the major regional centres of Townsville and Cairns (RA3, outer regional). This is despite the fact that Townsville and Cairns each have between 150,000 and 200,000 people, major hospitals, considerable specialist support, much lower on-call requirements for local doctors, and a wide range of educational andleisure facilities. The smaller towns are now directly competing with Townsville and Cairns for doctors, as the relocation and retention payments available are exactly the same. Queensland’s small rural towns already faced uphill battles recruiting enough doctors to service their populations…now things have got worse.
02/08/2011
Evidence mounts: doctors launch ‘Stop the Rot!’ roadshow to push for urgent review of faulty system
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has launched a national ‘Stop the Rot!’ virtual roadshow to highlight mounting evidence that the new Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system is making it significantly more difficult for small rural towns to attract doctors. Over coming weeks, the online roadshow will feature rural towns across Australiathat are being significantly disadvantaged by the ASGC-RA. RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, also intends to take the roadshow literally ‘on the road’ in the coming months, to visit many affected towns across Australia. RDAA continues to call for an immediate and independent review of the system.
02/08/2011
Complex carbon plan finalised…but internal review of “crazy” classification system still M.I.A.
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has again called for the immediate release of a technical review into the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system, saying the AGSC-RA is making it significantly harder to attract much-needed doctors to the bush. RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said he cannot believe it has taken longer to implement and still not release an internal review of the ASGC-RA than it has to develop, finalise and reach consensus on the new carbon tax. The technical review of the ASGC-RA is being undertaken by the National Centre for Social Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GISCA)—the organisation that developed ASGC-RA in the first place.
21/07/2011
RDAA President takes direct action on climate change, urges Government to take direct action on rural health
The President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Paul Mara, is taking direct action on climate change, maintaining a commitment to plant 5000 trees each year indefinitely in his local town of Gundagai. In return, he’s asking the Federal Government to take direct action on rural health…in particular by implementing an urgent review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system that is making it substantially more difficult to recruit doctors to many small rural towns across Australia.
11/07/2011
RDAQ media release -- New leader for Queensland’s rural medicos
The newly elected President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ) was ideally placed to advocate for more health services closer to home for country patients, according to Dr Dan Halliday, immediate past president of RDAQ. “We’re all honoured that Dr Ewen McPhee of Emerald offered his candidacy for the RDAQ Presidency” Dr Halliday said. “Ewen has been a passionate campaigner for procedural services in his home town of Emerald and for rural Queenslanders generally.”
30/06/2011
Rural doctors click ‘welcome’ button on telehealth measure
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed today’s launch of the Federal Government’s Medicare-funded telehealth initiative, saying it has “real potential” to improve access to specialists for rural and remote Australians. The measure, to commence this Friday, will allow patients in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas to ‘attend’ consultations with distant specialists via video-conferencing from the convenience of their local GP clinic or other local healthcare facilities.
29/06/2011
RDASA media release -- Survey confirms rural doctor shortage and difficulties accessing GP services in country SA
Over 23% of SA’s rural doctors expect to leave general practice within the next 5 years, while 23% also report that patients are waiting more than 3 weeks to see their usual doctor, a survey by the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) has found.
27/06/2011
GP groups to intensify campaign for restoration of Medicare patient rebates for GP mental health services
Australia’s peak general practitioner coalition, United General Practice Australia (UGPA), today vowed to intensify its campaign to convince the Government to restore the Medicare patient rebates for GP mental health services that were drastically cut in the May Budget. At a meeting last night at Parliament House involving UGPA leaders, Mental Health Minister Mark Butler and senior advisers from Health Minister Nicola Roxon’s office, Minister Butler said there was no room for change or negotiation around the Government’s mental health package.
23/06/2011
More rural Australians urged to take home bowel cancer test
Rural doctors are urging more rural Australians to undertake a painless, at-home bowel cancer test to help reduce deaths by cancer. The call follows recent Cancer Council research which shows that although more than 80% of people aged 50 and over are aware of the simple, at-home screening test for bowel cancer, less than half of those aware of the faecal occult blood test (FOBT) have actually done the test.
22/06/2011
Rural blokes – don’t be too tough to talk to your rural GP - Men's Health Week
Country blokes deserve to be healthy and happy and their first step towards making sure they are, and stay, that way, is a visit to their rural doctor. Dr Peter Rischbieth, Vice President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and a GP in Murray Bridge in rural SA, said that regular visits to a doctor is the most important step in improving men’s health outcomes.
17/06/2011
Immediate review needed: rural towns now losing doctors under flawed classification system
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging the Federal Government to undertake an immediate and independent review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system, warning that doctors are now leaving smaller rural towns affected by the system’s anomalies for larger centres. RDAA’s call follows a recent Senate Estimates hearing at which the Secretary of the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, Jane Halton, downplayed concerns with the system and indicated it would not be reviewed for at least 18 months to two years after its commencement last July. The ASGC-RA is used to determine the extent of relocation and retention incentives that a doctor receives, based on the location in which they are practising. It has placed many smaller rural towns in the same classification category as larger regional centres and even Hobart, meaning doctors now receive the same incentive payments whether they practise in the smaller towns or larger centres. In other cases, smaller towns are now just separated from larger centres by one classification level where previously there was a separation of two or three levels.
15/06/2011
RDAQ media release -- "Flood recovery" highlight of rural doctors meeting
Doctors affected by the recent floods will have a chance to debrief with colleagues, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, Dr Dan Halliday announced today. “RDAQ’s 22nd annual conference is in Cairns this weekend and while it’s always a good opportunity for our members to compare notes, there’s a special reason this year,” he said.
14/06/2011
RDAQ media release -- Queensland's "Australian of the Year" in Cairns on 11 June
President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, Dr Dan Halliday, today announced Queensland’s "Australian of the Year", Associate Professor Noel Hayman, as keynote speaker at the Association’s 22nd Annual Conference to be held at the Sebel Cairns on 10-12th June.
14/06/2011
Rural doctors call for workforce boost to be ‘front and centre’ of health reform agenda
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says the current health reform agenda must focus on boosting the number of doctors and other health professionals in rural Australia if access to healthcare is to be markedly improved in the bush. “Unfortunately, the current health reform agenda is missing the main point—that services in rural communities are best delivered by committed local doctors, nurses and other health professionals with the training, qualifications and skills that meet the needs of their communities” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said.
14/06/2011
RDAQ media release -- Rural doctors focus on indigenous health
Indigenous health would be a major focus of the 22nd Annual Conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, RDAQ President Dr Dan Halliday announced today.
09/06/2011
UGPA media release -- GP groups call for reinvestment into successful mental health program
United General Practice Australia – the coalition of the peak groups representing Australia’s general practitioners – has issued a strong united statement calling on the government to expand the Better Access program to meet the demand for mental healthcare in the community rather than reducing Medicare patient rebates for vital mental health services.
03/06/2011
Rural doctors seek Coalition support for plain packaging laws
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has written to the Coalition requesting its support the plain packaging for cigarettes legislation, given the dramatic impact it could have on cutting smoking rates in rural and regional Australia. “When applied in conjunction with other anti-smoking measures that have already been introduced, the plain packaging of cigarettes has enormous potential to discourage more Australians from continuing to smoke or, importantly, to even start smoking” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said.
27/05/2011
Plight of rural specialist shows registration process needs rethink
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says the case of a German born orthopaedic surgeon—who provides much-needed care in an area of need in rural NSW, but will soon be deregistered if he doesn’t undertake training in fields of medicine he will never use—demonstrates why a more flexible model for assessing specialist overseas trained doctors (OTDs) is urgently required. RDAA is calling for a model that enables specialist OTDs to be assessed on the scope of practice of individual practitioners, rather than requiring them to be credentialed in areas of medicine they don’t utilise. RDAA has written to the Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, and the House Standing Committee on Health and Ageing’s Inquiry into the Registration Processes and Support for Overseas Trained Doctors, to outline its concerns.
18/05/2011
Ticks for mental health and hospital funding, but urgent work needed on rural doctor shortage
Significant day-to-day frustrations of rural doctors in accessing adequate mental health services for their patients could be eased following the announcement in tonight’s federal budget of additional mental health funding. Another potential win for rural patients is the additional funding for regional hospital and health service infrastructure, which should assist rural doctors in various locations to get patients with acute and chronic conditions into regional hospitals in shorter timeframes.
10/05/2011
Media alert -- RDAA President: availability for budget commentary (including doorstop, Senate Entrance, Parliament House, 10.30am Wednesday)
RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, will be in Canberra for tonight’s federal budget and will be available for media interviews today and tomorrow. After attending the health budget lock-up this afternoon/evening, he will provide comments to media at the Press Gallery at Parliament House. He will also be available for telephone interviews. On Wednesday, Dr Mara and RDAA CEO, Jenny Johnson, will also be available for interviews from Canberra, both in person and over the phone. Dr Mara will also hold a media doorstop at the Senate Entrance, Parliament House, at 10:30am AEST on Wednesday.
10/05/2011
Victoria backs advanced training pathway for rural doctors
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has applauded the decision by the Victorian Government to fund a dedicated training pathway for rural doctors in its first budget. The Victorian Health Minister has confirmed that from $2.4 million over four years will be provided to fund the program which is aimed at increasing the number of doctors with advanced skills training in rural areas. Victoria’s decision follows the success of Queensland’s Rural Generalist Pathway that is attracting an increasing number of medical students into dedicated rural-orientated training.
05/05/2011
RDAV media release -- Rural doctors welcome Victorian Government's rural generalist training initiative
The Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s budget announcement to establish a dedicated training program for Rural Generalist Practitioners in the state. The Victorian Minister for Health, David Davis, has confirmed that $2.4 million over four years will be provided to underpin the program, commencing from the 2011-12 financial year. "This is an incredibly important initiative for the survival of Victoria’s rural hospitals and the delivery of health services to rural Victorians" said RDAV President, Dr Mike Moynihan, who practises as a Rural Generalist Obstetrician in Swan Hill.
04/05/2011
Regional cancer centre great news for Albury-Wodonga
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed an announcement by the Federal Government that it will provide $65 million to establish an integrated regional cancer centre for the Albury-Wodonga region. The new cancer centre will join 22 other regional cancer centre projects around Australia. “The Government’s commitment to fund this next cancer centre is very welcome news for those living in and around Albury-Wodonga” RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said.
03/05/2011
Rural practices urged to apply as infrastructure grants are rolled out
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging rural medical practices across Australia to consider applying for Federal Government funding to expand and improve their practice infrastructure, as the next round of the Government’s Primary Care Infrastructure Grants program gets underway. The $52.5 million round of grants aims to help local doctors expand the services they offer to their communities. Around 200 grants will be available through this round of funding. The Government is directing at least one-third of the total funding available through the Primary Care Infrastructure Grants initiative to regional and remote Australia.
20/04/2011
RDAQ media release -- Country doctors seeking answers over hospital Medicare billing plans
President of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland, Dr Dan Halliday, today called for open-ness and due process as Queensland Health seeks to establish bulk-billed services in some country hospitals. “There are towns where Queensland Health seems keen to set up bulk-billing clinics in their hospitals” Dr Halliday said. “Some of our members feel threatened by that and we want some answers as to what’s going on.”
19/04/2011
Rural Doctors welcome proposed plain packaging laws
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s proposal to introduce plain packaging and more prominent health warnings on cigarette packaging.
07/04/2011
Rural doctors welcome Government rollout of additional rural training places
RDAA has welcomed the Federal Government’s rollout of additional doctor training places in country locations, saying the extra places could help alleviate the critical shortage of doctors in rural towns provided improved supports and incentives are introduced to entice doctors to remain in the bush on completion of their training. Over the past few weeks, Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, has announced the rollout of 331 additional training places across Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia, in both urban and rural settings.
05/04/2011
RDA NSW media release -- Rural doctors urge NSW Health to reverse “appalling decision” on rural internships
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) says NSW Health must urgently reverse an “appalling decision” that will see medical students from NSW, who are studying medicine at the Australian National University in Canberra, unable to secure internship positions at rural NSW hospitals. Guaranteed intern places under the Rural Preferential Recruitment (RPR) Scheme have now been restricted only to medical graduates from NSW universities. Previously students from interstate universities who had completed their HSC in NSW were also guaranteed an internship in rural NSW hospitals. The decision means that NSW-origin medical students who are studying at the ANU will not have guaranteed offers of internships in rural NSW.
29/03/2011
RDA NSW media release -- Rural doctors congratulate NSW Coalition on election win: now it’s time to rebuild the rural health system.
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) has congratulated the NSW Coalition on its election victory, saying it looks forward to working with the new Government to rebuild the rural health system across the state and implement the numerous commitments the Coalition has made on rural health. “The Coalition ticked the boxes on rural health policy during the campaign, and we can’t wait to see these commitments and other measures rolled out to both expand the provision of hospital and health services in NSW and rebuild the rural doctor workforce in this state” said RDA NSW President, Dr Tilak Dissanayake, a rural doctor in Coolah. “Urgent action is needed to ensure NSW has a cohesive plan to train, attract and support doctors in the bush. A key part of this should be to establish an Advanced Rural Training Pathway for doctors in NSW who intend to work in the bush."
29/03/2011
Rural doctors to hold national breakfast briefing for federal politicians tomorrow
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) will hold a national breakfast briefing for federal politicians at Parliament House in Canberra tomorrow (Wednesday 23 March 2011). This is the second such briefing to be held by RDAA—its inaugural briefing was held at Parliament House in March last year. Around 20 rural doctors from across Australia will be at this year’s briefing to discuss directly with federal politicians the key challenges facing rural doctors and their patients.
22/03/2011
RDA NSW media release -- NSW Labor urged to follow Coalition lead on rural health wishlist
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) has welcomed pre-election commitments by the NSW Coalition to improve access to healthcare in country NSW, saying the Coalition has “ticked various boxes” in RDA NSW’s election wishlist, Proposals for rural health for the Parliamentary term 2011 to 2015. RDA NSW is now urging NSW Labor to follow suit and commit to several key initiatives required to get the rural health system in NSW off life-support.
21/03/2011
RDA NSW -- Country NSW medical students win inaugural scholarships
Two medical students from country NSW have been announced as the inaugural winners of The Land and Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) Rural Medical Scholarships for 2011. Hannah Kelly from Uralla and Matthew Binks from Mudgee will each receive $15,000 to support them while they undertake their medical studies. RDA NSW will also provide ongoing mentoring for the students, with Hannah and Matthew each being allocated RDA NSW committee members (all practising rural doctors) as their mentors. General Manager of The Land, John Dwyer, said the scholarships were launched by The Land this year to coincide with its 100th anniversary.
17/03/2011
$2.1 billion ‘Grand Canyon’ in rural health funding demands urgent fix
Landmark reports have again underlined the significant underspend on primary care in rural and remote Australia, and shown the need to fix what the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) say has become the ‘Grand Canyon’ of healthcare delivery in Australia.
10/03/2011
Letter to the editor from Dr Paul Mara, RDAA President, on training posts for GP registrars in rural Australia
I read with interest your article on rural training terms for registrars, and GPRA’s concerns that registrars need better support while on placement in the bush. The research quoted was based on only 15 participants from one region in NSW, so to extrapolate too much from it would be dangerous.
10/03/2011
RDA NSW media release -- Pambula next to fall in NSW after-hours crisis: Local doctors to reluctantly reduce after-hours load
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW says tomorrow’s reluctant withdrawal by local doctors from providing after-hours services at Pambula Hospital, on the NSW Far South Coast, is symptomatic of the crisis now facing after-hours care in hundreds of rural communities across NSW. Dr Frank Simonson and his colleagues have been providing after-hours care at Pambula Hospital for years, but service cuts—including closure of the maternity unit—have led to the loss of experienced nursing staff, particularly those managing the emergency department, and consequently local doctors have been receiving significantly more calls from the hospital for advice or attendance after-hours.
28/02/2011
Medicare Locals -- not the magic pill for rural after-hours care
RDAA has warned that after-hours services are under severe threat in many rural areas and that funding for Medicare Locals to address this issue may not solve the problem. RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara, said that while he welcomed recognition in the current health reform agenda of the important role of doctors in meeting substantial patient health load in the community, significant numbers of rural doctors were considering their future participation in after-hours services in light of the current proposals.
28/02/2011
RDA NSW media release -- Doctors urge NSW Labor to match Coalition commitment on Parkes and Forbes hospitals
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDANSW) is urging NSW Labor to match a commitment by the NSW Coalition to retain existing health services at Parkes and Forbes hospitals. The NSW Coalition this week announced a $25 million injection to the Forbes Hospital upgrade and refurbishment project and $42.5 million for a new Parkes Hospital. The commitment follows RDANSW concerns that an amalgamation of hospital services between Parkes and Forbes—as proposed by the Western NSW Local Health Network (LHN)—will lead to an unacceptable decrease in health services in the Lachlan Valley.
25/02/2011
Rural communities could benefit from online medical consultations… but they won’t replace your local doctor
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has expressed its support for the introduction of rebates for online specialist consultations, but stressed that they should not be viewed as a substitute for providing doctors and health professionals ‘on the ground’ in rural and remote communities. In its submission in response to the discussion paper: Connecting Health Services with the Future: Modernising Medicare by Providing Rebates for Online Consultations, the RDAA has said that, if managed appropriately, telehealth consultations could improve the delivery of some health care services to rural and remote Australians.
17/02/2011
Statement by RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara -- New health plan only a true success if it improves rural access
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has reserved judgment on the modified national health plan until we see the fine detail. RDAA welcomes a shared pool of funding and hopes this will lead to greater co-ordination of planning and service delivery, matching resources to local need. But at the very top of the list for government action must be the critical need to address the shortage of doctors and other health professionals that is impacting so badly on access to healthcare in rural and remote communities. Part of the pooled funding must be allocated to train, attract and retain doctors, nurses and other health professionals in country Australia, to ensure a sustainable future for healthcare in the bush.
14/02/2011
Rural doctors recognised with Order of Australia awards
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) congratulates three member doctors on their recognition for service to medical care and their communities in the Order of Australia awards. Dr Paul Mara, RDAA President, said that it was great to see such hardworking and dedicated country doctors recognised on a national level. “Three of our members received awards this year, and all are, or were, practising GPs in rural towns,” Dr Mara said. “Each of them has worked long and hard for the benefit their communities and the medical profession and this recognition is richly deserved.”
10/02/2011
Doctors groups strive to get critically needed medical services back into flood-affected towns
Key Rural Health Organisations are banding together to help their flood affected colleagues get back up and running after many lost their entire surgeries to the floods. Dr Paul Mara, president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) said that getting medical services running as quickly as possible should be a key priority for these communities.
28/01/2011
Rural doctors to seek support for flood-affected colleagues
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urgently gathering information on just how many rural doctors and surgeries have been impacted by the flood disaster across Queensland and some other states, in order to seek special assistance from the Federal Government and relevant state governments for surgeries that have been inundated with water.
11/01/2011
RDAV media release -- Doctors highly concerned about rural ambulance shortages during holiday season
The Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) says it is “highly concerned” with reports that extra ambulances might not be supplied this summer to major rural tourist destinations in the state. Backing concerns expressed by the Ambulance Employees Association on ABC Radio, RDAV President, Dr Mike Moynihan, said: “During the holiday season, the daily population of rural tourist towns across Victoria swells by well over 5000 people in each location, putting massive pressure on those towns’ health professionals and health services – but in recent years the State has made no extra provision for services to these towns except for extra ambulances…and now it looks like even extra ambulances won’t be provided this summer."
15/12/2010
RDAV media release -- Baillieu Government commitment on Victorian rural doctor shortage welcomed
The Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) has welcomed the restoration of rural representation in the new Parliament of Victoria and the Baillieu Government’s commitment to rebuild the state’s rural medical workforce. "The training of rural generalist doctors—to provide both general practice and hospital-based care in rural Victoria into the future—was a specific and very welcome funding pledge in the Coalition’s election manifesto” RDAV President, Dr Mike Moynihan, said.
06/12/2010
Statement by RDAA President, Dr Paul Mara -- The proposed rural generalist pathway: don’t let the myths get in the way of a great story
Attending the recent meeting of medical groups on a national advanced training pathway for rural generalists, it was great to see most of the groups actively supporting the need for such a pathway and wanting to be involved in its development. But there are still some misunderstandings in the wider medical community about how the pathway might work. Now that full consultation and development of the pathway is set to begin in earnest, it is important to clarify the principles upfront. After all, the pathway has real potential to be a great story for the revival of medicine in the bush...it would be an enormous shame for a few myths and misunderstandings to get in the way of that.
01/12/2010
RDA NSW media release -- Urgent action needed on NSW rural health system: new rural doctors’ President
The new President of the Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) says the state’s major political parties must act on a blueprint the Association has developed to save the NSW rural health system from ‘almost certain collapse’. Dr Tilak Dissanayake, a rural generalist from Coolah in north-west NSW, was elected President of RDA NSW at the weekend. He previously served as Vice President. Dr Dissanayake said RDA NSW’s Proposals for Rural Health for Parliamentary Term 2011-2014 (available at www.rdansw.com.au) puts forward a detailed plan of measures that are urgently required to ensure a sustainable future for rural health services, rural hospitals and the rural health workforce in NSW. He is calling on the major parties to commit to the key measures in the lead-up to next year’s state election.
01/12/2010
Doctors pleased with support for proposed national training pathway
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says it is pleased with the outcomes of last Friday’s meeting of peak medical groups on a proposed national training pathway for rural generalist doctors, with the majority of participating organisations interested in being involved in its further development. RDAA and a number of other medical bodies see implementation of a national pathway as being critical in addressing the growing shortage of doctors in the bush and ensuring the provision of advanced medical services in country Australia into the future.
26/11/2010
RMA 2010 -- media alert --14 October 2010
25/11/2010
RDA NSW media release -- Doctors welcome NSW Coalition offer of more travel support for rural patients
The Rural Doctors Association of New South Wales (RDA NSW) has welcomed the NSW Coalition’s offer to increase travel and accommodation support for rural patients who must travel to distant centres for medical treatment. The offer was made at the ‘Rebuilding the Regions Workshop 2010’, where NSW state Liberal and National Party MPs met with the NSW Farmers’ Association, the Rural Alliance, and local government and community leaders. RDA NSW Vice President, Dr Tilak Dissanayake, represented RDA NSW at the workshop.
24/11/2010
Indigenous health
This policy is currently under review.
16/11/2010
RDASA media release -- Government commitment needed to deliver future country doctors: new President
The new President of the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA), Dr Tim Wood, says the SA Government must urgently develop a Rural Generalist Training Pathway for the state, based on the successful Queensland model, to ensure country South Australia has access to sufficient numbers of rural procedural GPs in coming years. Dr Wood has also called on the Government to commit to at least maintain current funding levels for Keith Hospital while working with the hospital’s Board to ensure a sustainable future for the much-needed community-owned rural hospital, which provides emergency care, other public hospital services, aged care and general practice care to Keith and the surrounding region. The not-for-profit hospital faces a cut in State Government funding from $600,000 to $300,000 from 30 June next year, putting its future in jeopardy.
15/11/2010
RDAV media release -- Parties must get real on Victorian rural hospital services
In the run-up to the Victorian election, the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) is urging the state’s political parties to take the future of rural hospitals more seriously.
10/11/2010
Rural doctor awarded for two decades of care, here and in Africa
A country doctor has taken out a national award for more than 20 years of dedicated service to his community in northern Victoria. Dr Lindsay Sherriff has received the ACRRM-RDAA Peter Graham ‘Cohuna’ Award for 2010. The award, instigated by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, was presented at the recent Rural Medicine Australia 2010 conference in Hobart.
03/11/2010
New CEO for national rural doctors group
Jenny Johnson, currently Executive Officer of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland (RDAQ), will commence duties as the new CEO of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) from 10 January 2011. Jenny replaces outgoing CEO, Steve Sant, who began a new role as CEO of the ACT Division of General Practice yesterday after nearly four and a half years with RDAA. Jenny was appointed Executive Officer of RDAQ in October 2004, and from 2005-09 also worked with the Queensland Farmer’s Federation (in addition to her RDAQ role), particularly in the areas of regional planning and industry advocacy. She is currently also a consultant to Health Workforce Queensland (the state’s rural workforce agency) and assists the agency with community planning, business development and advocacy.
02/11/2010
Rural WA resident wins free iPad for health survey effort
Lauren Duckworth, from the rural town of Lake Grace in south-east Western Australia, will soon be the proud owner of a free Apple iPad courtesy of Telstra, with her name being pulled out of the hat from a long list of participants in a recent national survey on access to rural healthcare. Over 1200 people from across Australia participated in the online survey, which was developed by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and National Rural Health Alliance to gather first-hand feedback about the difficulties in accessing local health professionals and health services across rural and remote Australia. The survey process was managed by the online survey company, UltraFeedback.
26/10/2010
Dedicated training, new incentives best recipe for more bush doctors: new President
The introduction of a dedicated national rural medical training pathway—coupled with improved recognition for doctors who elect to practise in country areas—is by far the best recipe to entice young doctors to the bush and ensure a viable future for rural medicine in Australia, the new President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Paul Mara, said today. Dr Mara is a rural generalist doctor from Gundagai, NSW, with advanced training in obstetrics and anaesthetics. Previously RDAA Vice President, he was elected RDAA President at the organisation’s AGM in Hobart yesterday.
25/10/2010
Rural Doctor conference wraps up - RMA 2010
Country doctors will be heading back to their rural and remote communities today as Rural Medicine Australia 2010 wraps up today. More than three hundred delegates converged on Hobart to participate in the conference, hosted by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), which featured training sessions, political debate, research updates and a Gala dinner where the profession?s annual awards were presented.
25/10/2010
High achieving medical student wins prestigious national award
A fifth year medical student from Mudgee in rural NSW—who is studying medicine at James Cook University in Townsville—has been awarded this year’s Westpac RDAA Medical Student of the Year Award for her dedication to, and many achievements in, the rural health sector. Heather Hanks received the prestigious award at a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2010, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Hobart on Saturday night.
25/10/2010
Dedicated country doctor recognised as Rural Registrar of the Year
Port Hedland GP Registrar, Dr Sarah McEwan, has been awarded the Westpac RDAA-ACRRM Rural Registrar of the Year Award for 2010, in recognition of her commitment to rural practice and her dedication to providing high quality medical care to the remote communities in her region. Dr McEwan received the award at a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2010, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Hobart on Saturday night.
25/10/2010
Exceptional rural specialist named Rural Doctor of the Year
A rural specialist obstetrician who has provided decades of exceptional service to the community of Albury-Wodonga on the NSW-Victorian border, and also helped establish a national locum scheme to support overworked rural obstetricians, is the recipient of the Westpac RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year Award for 2010. Dr Pieter Mourik received the award at a gala dinner at Rural Medicine Australia 2010, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), held in Hobart on Saturday night.
25/10/2010
Politicians debate rural health - RMA 2010
The future of health care in rural Australia was on the agenda today for some of our leading federal politicians at Rural Medicine Australia 2010. Government ministers Simon Crean, whose portfolio includes Regional Australia and Regional Development, and Warren Snowdon, Minister for Indigenous Health, were joined by Liberal member Andrew Laming, who shadows Regional Health Services and Indigenous Health, and Independent member Andrew Wilkie, now playing a pivotal role in the new minority government.
22/10/2010
Rural doctor conference kicks off - RMA 2010
Rural Medicine Australia 2010 (RMA 2010), Australia’s largest conference for doctors in rural and remote Australia has kicked off with more than 300 attendees flying in from around the country. Doctors have travelled from as far as Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia’s Kimberley, Nhulunbuy on the north east tip of the Northern Territory and Mt Isa in Queensland’s north west, to meet for this annual conference.
22/10/2010
RDAA and ACRRM media reminder -- Rural doctors’ critical national conference this Thursday to Sunday, Hobart
20/10/2010
RDASA media release -- Doctors urge Minister to meet with board as Keith Hospital’s future under threat
The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) is calling on SA’s Health Minister, John Hill MP, to meet urgently with the Keith Hospital Board, as fears are realised that the slashing of state government funding for Keith Hospital—from $660,000 to just $300,000 per year—will force the closure of the vital country hospital on the main highway between Adelaide and Melbourne.
19/10/2010
Equal is not equitable: Medicare in the bush - discussion paper
15/10/2010
Submission to the Senate Select Committee into issues Relating to Access and Affordability of General Practice Under Medicare
15/10/2010
Maternity training funds a boost for the bush -- October 2010.pdf
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed today’s Government announcement that country GPs can apply for funding to assist them to complete procedural training in obstetrics.
15/10/2010
Submission to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons' Review of the Assessment of Overseas Trained Surgeons
15/10/2010
Submission to the Australian Medical Council Regarding the Application by ACRRM for the Recognition of Rural and Remote Medicine as a Medical Speciality
15/10/2010
Preventative Healthcare and Strengthening Australiias Social and Economic Framework
Submission to the National Health and Medical Research Council regarding the Council's future targeted research program.
15/10/2010
Submission to the Senate Inquiry into Services and Treatment Options for Persons with Cancer
15/10/2010
Rural Doctors’ budget submission provides solutions to get more doctors to the bush
Getting more doctors to work in the bush tops the list of crucial issues the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has called for to be addressed in the Federal Budget 2009-10.
14/10/2010
Rural doctors welcome Maternity Services Review Report
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the Australian Department of Health and Ageing’s Maternity Services Review Report, released today by Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, saying it provides a strong way forward for improving access to maternity services in the bush.
14/10/2010
Doctors welcome Shadow Minister’s rural practice fact-finding visit
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed a fact-finding visit today by the Federal Shadow Health Minister, Peter Dutton, to the South Australian rural medical practice of RDAA’s immediate past-President, Dr Peter Rischbieth, saying it is important that more policy-makers take the time to visit doctors working on-the-ground in country communities to see just what challenges they are facing.
14/10/2010
Lessons need to be learned to deliver a sustainable rural health workforce
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report, Rural and Remote Health Workforce Capacity – the contribution made by programs administered by the Department of Health and Ageing shows it is time the Health Department put some rubber on the road when it comes to building our rural and remote health workforce, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia said.
14/10/2010
Media alert -- Rural Doctors Association President — availability for budget commentary
The President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Nola Maxfield, will be in Canberra for tomorrow’s federal budget and available for media interviews.
14/10/2010
Rural Doctors Association of Australia drops support for 10-Year Moratorium on overseas-trained doctors
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has withdrawn its support for the Federal Government’s 10-Year Moratorium on overseas-trained doctors. Now over 12 years into the policy, RDAA believes the Moratorium has failed as a tool to build a permanent and skilled medical workforce in the bush.
14/10/2010
Health commission forgets the bush in final report
The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission has wasted a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to fix the rural health crisis by ignoring the need for urgent initiatives to entice more doctors and other health professionals to the bush, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) said today.
14/10/2010
Rural doctors to invite PM on rural health ‘fact finding’ tour
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) will write to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this week to invite him to participate in a national ‘fact finding’ tour of rural hospitals, rural practices, health centres and Aboriginal Medical Services.
14/10/2010
Media alert -- National Roundtable to address growing violence in rural and remote workplaces
Violence is endemic in our community and workplaces are not immune. Two thirds of GPs are exposed to work-related violence in any 12-month period. Evidence suggests that violence in rural and remote workplaces is more prevalent than in urban ones, with female professionals being at particular risk. The rate of violence in rural workplaces has real potential to impact on the number of professionals who choose to live and work in the bush.
14/10/2010
National Roundtable to address growing violence in rural and remote workplaces
A National Roundtable at Parliament House in Canberra today (Wednesday 19 August 2009) will bring together concerned organisations in an urgent effort to address growing workplace violence against female professionals working in rural and remote Australia.
14/10/2010
RDA Vic Urgent call for Victorian Government action as worsening doctor shortage threatens more rural hospitals
A major survey released today by the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) has again shown that, without urgent State Government intervention, the worsening shortage of rural GP proceduralists across Victoria will result in further reductions in emergency and other procedural services provided by rural hospitals across the State.
14/10/2010
RDAA encourages rural residents and health professionals to blog the Prime Minister
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is calling on everyone who lives and works in rural and remote Australia to have their say on the Prime Minister’s Remote and rural health care system blog.
14/10/2010
RDA NSW -- Rural doctors invite new NSW Health Minister on rural fact-finding tour
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) says it would welcome the opportunity to host the new NSW Health Minister, Carmel Tebbutt, on a fact-finding tour of rural hospitals, health centres and medical practices, so she can see first-hand the important role these services are providing for those living in country NSW and the range of challenges they are facing.
14/10/2010
“Closing Pambula?s busy maternity unit and forcing experienced doctors off the roster…is that really the safest option?” rural doctors ask NSW Government
Rural doctors have „rejected outright? claims by a NSW Health employee on ABC TV?s 7.30 Report that closing the maternity unit at Pambula Hospital on the NSW Far South Coast has led to a safer model of obstetric care for mothers and babies in the entire Bega Valley Shire.
14/10/2010
“Worrying” rates of rural suicides, homicides and fatal accidents highlight urgent need for governments to get procedural GPs to the bush
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says a report showing a significantly higher rate of suicides, homicides and fatal accidents in rural and remote Australia, compared to cities, is an urgent reminder to the federal and state governments that they must do more to get and keep in the bush more GPs who have advanced training in emergency, surgical and anaesthetic care.
14/10/2010
‘Close call’ birth underlines need for Pambula maternity unit
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) says last week’s close call where an ambulance had to divert to Pambula Hospital when the pregnant woman it was carrying went into the final stages of labour is certain to be one of many adverse events following closure of the hospital’s maternity unit—and should serve as an urgent warning to the NSW Government that the maternity unit on the state’s Far South Coast must be re-opened.
14/10/2010
Media alert -- Worsening shortage of rural doctors to be key focus of national conference
The worsening shortage of doctors across rural and remote Australia—and the continuing urgent need for a Rural Rescue Package to get and keep more of them in the bush—will be key issues discussed at a national conference of rural doctors from across Australia this Thursday to Sunday in Melbourne.
14/10/2010
Worsening shortage of rural doctors to be key focus of national conference
The worsening shortage of doctors across rural and remote Australia—and the continuing urgent need for a Rural Rescue Package to get and keep more of them in the bush—will be key issues discussed at a national conference of rural doctors from across Australia from today (Thursday) until Sunday in Melbourne.
14/10/2010
Media alert:Rural doctor national press conference – Friday 30 October, 1pm ADST, Melbourne
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) will hold a national press conference today (Friday), following a critical forum of rural doctors from across Australia. Issues to be discussed include threats to the future of the rural doctor workforce, and future healthcare and hospital care, in both rural Victoria and across rural and remote Australia.
14/10/2010
Saturday / Sunday at the national rural doctors’ conference
Rural Medicine Australia 2009, the joint annual conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), continues on Saturday and Sunday in Melbourne. This major national conference is being attended by nearly 300 delegates including rural doctors, medical students and others.
14/10/2010
Innovative rural student named Medical Student of the Year 2009
A passion for promoting the benefits of rural practice to other health students has seen rural NSW medical student, Shannon Nott, receive the Westpac RDAA Medical Student of the Year Award for 2009. The fourth year medical student from the University of New South Wales received the prestigious award at the Rural Doctors Association of Australia’s and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine’s Rural Medicine Australia 2009 conference, held in Melbourne over the weekend.
14/10/2010
Revolutionary GP registrar named Rural Registrar of the Year 2009
A Kalgoorlie-based GP registrar who is revolutionising rural obstetric training and Indigenous antenatal care has been awarded the Westpac RDAA-ACRRM Rural Registrar of the Year Award for 2009. Dr Kylie Sterry received the award at the Rural Doctors Association of Australia’s and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine’s national Rural Medicine Australia 2009 conference, held in Melbourne over the weekend.
14/10/2010
Tireless rural GP and trail blazer for female doctors named Rural Doctor of the Year 2009
A tireless doctor who has served her rural NSW community for 25 years, championed rural birthing services and Indigenous health, worked hard to recruit more doctors to the bush and blazed a path for rural female doctors has been named the Westpac RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year for 2009. Moree GP obstetrician, Dr Maxine Percival, received the prestigious award at the Rural Doctors Association of Australia’s and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine’s national Rural Medicine Australia 2009 conference, held in Melbourne over the weekend.
14/10/2010
Energetic and respected rural doctor wins coveted award - The Peter Graham ‘Cohuna’ Award 2009
One of Australia’s most high profile and energetic rural doctors, Dr Peter Rischbieth, has been named the winner of the prestigious ACRRM-RDAA Peter Graham ‘Cohuna’ Award for 2009. The extremely dedicated rural doctor based in Murray Bridge, South Australia, is only the second recipient of the Award, which is presented jointly by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA). Dr Rischbieth received the Award at RDAA and ACRRM’s Rural Medicine Australia 2009 conference, held in Melbourne over the weekend.
14/10/2010
RDA NSW -- Good hearing from NSW Health Minister over closed birthing unit at Pambula Hospital
Local Pambula doctors are pleased with the hearing they and the Pambula community received from the NSW Health Minister and Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt during talks on Wednesday over the re-opening of Pambula’s closed maternity unit.
14/10/2010
RDA Vic -- Sea Lake threat again shows need for action on Victorian rural hospital crisis
The potential closure of beds at Sea Lake Hospital continues a long and sorry saga of health service cutbacks in rural Victoria, increasing the risks to rural patients, further eroding rural communities and once again underlining the need for urgent government action to resolve the statewide crisis, the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV) warned today.
14/10/2010
Patient safety at risk as Coolah Hospital bypassed
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) is warning that the Greater Western Area Health Service’s decision to place Coolah Hospital on bypass indefinitely, effectively shutting down the hospital’s emergency department, will put lives at risk. The Association is calling on the Area Health Service to work urgently to recruit more nurses at the hospital—including by recruiting temporary nurses through locum agencies—to ensure the hospital can remain open.
14/10/2010
RDA NSW -- Doctors commend Area Health Service for prompt action on Coolah Hospital concerns
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) has commended the Greater Western Area Health Service (GWAHS) for its prompt action in returning emergency and acute care services to Coolah Hospital and taking the hospital off bypass. RDA NSW warned last Wednesday that—in shutting down the hospital’s emergency department and acute care beds, and placing the hospital on bypass—lives would be put at risk with critical and acute care patients being forced to travel or be transported to distant hospitals for treatment.
14/10/2010
Spotters fees not the way to attract doctors
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is calling on the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Western Australian Branch to reverse its misguided approach of paying spotters fees for recruitment of overseas doctors.
14/10/2010
Rural doctors warn COAG there can be no health reform without a health workforce
When the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meets to discuss health reform on Monday, it must first seek to solve the chronic rural health workforce shortage, without which reform is impossible.
14/10/2010
RDA Vic -- Doctors concerned at latest bypass of rural hospital, with Victorian woman impaled for nearly an hour
The latest appalling bypass of Yarrawonga Hospital in country Victoria is a further example of the growing divide between rural hospitals and the State ambulance service, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria (RDAV), Dr Mike Moynihan, said today. A woman was left impaled on a fence for nearly an hour on Tuesday night despite being just 100 yards from Yarrawonga Hospital while police and emergency services prevaricated and waited for an ambulance to come from Wangaratta.
14/10/2010
RDA NSW - Bellingen Hospital - 15 January 2010.pdf
RDA NSW President Ian Kamerman has called on the North Coast Area Health Service (NCAHS) to stop blaming problems at Bellingen Hospital on rural doctors and rural communities, who are trying to fix the problems.
13/10/2010
Rural doctors call for urgent solutions in 2010 budget submission
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging the Federal Government to make a significant investment in some of the most critical areas of rural healthcare in its May budget, warning that failure to do so will severely compromise the ability of many rural communities to attract and retain much-needed doctors.
13/10/2010
Rural doctors serve up key issues for federal pollies at pre-election breakfast briefing
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says a national breakfast briefing it held this morning at Parliament House in Canberra was “a critical opportunity” to get across key rural health issues to federal politicians in the lead-up to this year’s federal election campaign.
13/10/2010
PM warned: hospital reform will fail in the bush unless it addresses rural doctor shortage
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that unless the Federal Government’s hospital reform package includes “serious measures” to combat the critical shortage of doctors and other health professionals in the bush, it is doomed to fail in rural Australia.
13/10/2010
Media alert -- Doorstop today at National Press Club following Prime Minister’s hospital funding reform announcement
CEO of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Steve Sant, will hold a doorstop outside the National Press Club, Canberra, today to discuss the impact on rural hospitals of the Federal Government’s hospital funding reform package.
13/10/2010
Hospital and health reform shows promise, but doctor shortage must be fixed to deliver real benefits
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the hospital funding reform package announced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd today, saying it shows some promise in ensuring better funding systems for hospitals.
13/10/2010
RDA NSW media release -- Slashing of joint replacements at Bowral to hurt rural and Sydney patients alike
The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) is extremely concerned with a plan by the NSW Government’s Sydney South West Area Health Service to slash the number of joint replacement operations at Bowral Hospital in the state’s Southern Highlands, fearing it could be a veiled attempt to shut down all such operations at Bowral in the future.
13/10/2010
Media reminder -- SBS TV to put outback heroines...and the rewards of rural medical careers...in front of national audience
The national broadcast of a television documentary about female rural doctors—and why they find their work so rewarding—will help spread the message that rural medical practice is a great career choice.
13/10/2010
Rural doctors welcome new PM
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) congratulates Julia Gillard on her appointment as Australia’s new Prime Minister and looks forward to working with her to help solve the rural health crisis.
13/10/2010
Allow doctors to participate on new hospital boards, Victorian Government urged
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has urged the Victorian Government to reverse its ban on doctors participating on local hospital boards in Victoria, and allow doctors to participate directly on the governing councils of the new Local Hospital Networks (LHNs) once they are established.
13/10/2010
Coalition rural health policy way off target
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has slammed the new rural health policy proposed by the Coalition saying it shows a complete lack of understanding of the issues affecting rural health.
13/10/2010
Rural health ignored by Coalition
In their campaign launch on Sunday, the Coalition again demonstrated their disinterest in the welfare of rural Australians, with no move to fix the rural health system in their election platform.
13/10/2010
Low cost rural doctor training should be a 'no brainer' for Labor
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says federal Labor would be ‘extremely foolish’ not to unveil a National Rural Generalist Training Pathway at its official campaign launch next Monday, given the Pathway would deliver many more well-trained doctors to rural Australia at virtually no additional cost.
13/10/2010
UGPA media release -- The silence has been deafening on Aboriginal health: let's hear about it
The coalition of peak groups representing general practice in Australia today joined forces with the peak body representing Aboriginal community controlled health services to call on the major parties to start talking the talk on Aboriginal health.
13/10/2010
RDASA media release -- Country hospitals saved: government announces no closures
Rural communities and their doctors are celebrating today’s announcement by Treasurer Kevin Foley that no country hospitals in South Australia will be closed.
13/10/2010
Rural doctors welcome Labor's regional health funding
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the opening of regional funding applications for the national Health and Hospitals Fund.
13/10/2010
RDAA and ACRRM media alert -- Rural doctors to gather for critical national conference
Country doctors from across Australia will converge on Hobart later this month for a critical national conference, Rural Medicine Australia 2010 (RMA 2010). This major conference is being held at a particularly crucial time for the future of rural health, with the key role of the country independents in forming the minority Federal Government providing a rare opportunity for the needs of rural Australia to take front and centre stage in federal politics.
13/10/2010
RDAV media release -- Victorian rural doctors warn lack of training and support will close medical services
Victorian rural doctors met at the weekend in Wangaratta to discuss the future of rural medicine in Victoria. Many disappointing trends were identified and reviewed.
13/10/2010
UGPA media release -- Health Minister Meets GP Groups
Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, today met Australia’s peak general practice groups to discuss a range of issues that will have an impact on general practice, communities and patients in the Government’s second term.
22/09/2010
RDASA media release -- Doctors “highly concerned” with leaked proposal to close country hospitals
The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) is “highly concerned” with recommendations in yesterday’s leaked SA Cabinet document to close or downgrade up to 37 country hospitals across the state, including up to 17 country hospitals marked for definite closure and up to another 20 country hospitals marked for possible downgrade or closure.
22/09/2010
Angry doctors demand urgent meeting with PM: country independents urged to act
An angry Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has demanded an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard following the axeing by her—after just one term—of the Federal Indigenous, Rural and Regional Health portfolio in the weekend’s ministerial reshuffle.
22/09/2010
Katter misses health mark by country mile
Bob Katter has shown a lack of understanding of the health needs of rural Australians, with country hospitals and health services barely getting a look-in on his 20 point wish list. Dr Nola Maxfield, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), said she was extremely disappointed with the low priority he has given rural health.
22/09/2010
Hospital funding first step only to rural health fix
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the re-election of the Gillard Government, and has welcomed Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement that the next round of federal hospitals funding will be available for regional and rural hospitals.
22/09/2010
Is there an e-future for rural Australia?
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging the independent MPs who will hold the balance of power in the next Federal Parliament to ensure that rural and remote Australians can access fast and reliable broadband services.
22/09/2010
Doctors urge independent MPs to insist on rural looking glass
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging the key rural independent MPs to require an incoming Government to introduce formal rural proofing of all proposed health policies and programs. Rural proofing would require policy-makers to genuinely consider the impact of new policies on rural communities and their existing rural health services, to ensure the policies would work in individual rural settings and would not have detrimental consequences. Rural proofing for health is mandatory in the United Kingdom, which
22/09/2010
Rural doctors provide Independents with 'ammo'
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has written to the three Independent MPs who are expected to hold the balance of power in the next Federal Parliament. Dr Nola Maxfield, RDAA President, has outlined the actions that can be taken either by a Gillard or an Abbott Government to address the substantial doctor shortages in rural and remote Australia.
22/09/2010
Hung parliament just what the doctor ordered
The hung parliament could be the best thing for rural health if independent MPs stand up for their electorates, according to the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA). Dr Nola Maxfield, RDAA President, said that with three independent MPs from rural seats, there is a unique opportunity for rural Australia to have a real voice in how health is provided in rural Australia.
22/09/2010
A Debates Commission? Get real pollies! A Rural Health Commission is much more critical.
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says it is staggered that Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are spending so much time debating whether they will have another election debate when 4600 rural Australians are dying each year because they can’t get adequate access to healthcare.
22/09/2010
Tele-health measure builds rural bridges on broadband superhighway
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Gillard Government that it will provide $392 million to better support access to tele-health services for rural and remote Australians.
22/09/2010
Rural Australians urged to participate in national survey on healthcare access
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) are urging all people who live in rural and remote Australia to fill out a five-minute online survey about access to health services in their communities.
22/09/2010
Coalition abandons rural Australians in health policy
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) say the Coalition Health Policy, announced today, has abandoned the people suffering the poorest health outcomes in the nation – the 7.5 million Australians who live in regional and remote areas. President of RDAA, Dr Nola Maxfield, said that the policy will do nothing to improve health services in the bush, where 4,600* people die preventable deaths each year due to poor access to healthcare.
22/09/2010
Broadband superhighway to where?
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has criticised the idea that the expansion of the National Broadband Network (NBN) will help rural Australians access specialist health care, as most Medicare consultations don’t allow video conferencing.
22/09/2010
12,500 rural Australians needlessly dead
Since the federal election three years ago, 12,500 rural Australians have died preventable deaths as a result of poor access to healthcare services — 4,600 each year*. The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has called on the parties to get their priorities right this election and focus on improving access to healthcare for the seven million Australians who live in the bush.
22/09/2010
Rural Aussies urged to SHOUT! as pollies give health the silent treatment
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging rural communities across Australia to hold ‘decibel-breaking public meetings’ in the closing weeks of the federal election campaign to show how concerned they are with poor access to local health services and the worsening shortage of rural health professionals.
22/09/2010
6 month wait for rural GP consults demonstrates need for urgent action
More than 52% of rural Australians are waiting 1 or more weeks—with 18% waiting more than 3 weeks and some waiting up to 6 months—for a routine appointment with their GP, while others are being forced to attend Accident and Emergency units at distant hospitals for basic consults, interim results from a national survey of rural health consumers have revealed.
22/09/2010
Rural doctors welcome new nurse practitioner and midwife collaborative arrangements
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) welcomes the introduction of the new regulations by the Minister for Health and Aging, Nicola Roxon, that ensure people living in rural and remote Australia will receive collaborative care from doctors, nurse practitioners and midwives.
22/09/2010
Rural doctors welcome additional mental health funding
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed today’s announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon of additional funding for mental health services, saying it will help increase access to mental healthcare for rural and remote Australians.
22/09/2010
Labor’s emergency specialists measure will miss the mark in the bush
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says today’s announcement by Prime Minister Julia Gillard to deliver more emergency medicine specialists to outer metropolitan and regional hospitals will do little to improve access to emergency care further out in rural and remote Australia. Instead, RDAA has urged the major parties to introduce real measures to entice more doctors to the bush in the first place...including a National Rural Generalist Training Pathway that would not only train doctors in emergency medicine but also in other essential skills needed by doctors in rural and remote settings.
22/09/2010
Rural doctors call for ‘a fair shake of the sauce bottle’ this election
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is calling on all parties contesting the federal election to commit to provide rural communities with their fair share of health funding to improve local access to healthcare in the bush.
22/09/2010
Rural Australians urged to participate in national survey on healthcare access
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) are urging all people who live in rural and remote Australia to fill out a five-minute online survey about access to health services in their communities. Those completing the survey by midnight on Sunday 15 August 2010 will enter the draw to win an Apple iPad.
22/09/2010
Doctors paid incentives to move to country towns like…Hobart?
The Rural Doctors Association Australia (RDAA) is calling for a review of a new government program designed to encourage doctors into rural areas that will today start compensating them for the hardship of practising in cities like Hobart.
22/09/2010
4600 reasons for the Rudd Government to take more action on rural health
Today’s release of Australia’s Health 2010 provides 4600 reasons why the Rudd Government must take more action—and urgently—to entice more doctors to rural and remote Australia and boost access to healthcare in the bush, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned.
22/09/2010
Doctors urge federal action on “pitiful” travel supports for rural patients
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has called on the Federal Government to take urgent action to improve the “pitifully low level” of travel and accommodation support currently being offered by the state governments to assist rural patients who must travel to distant centres for treatment.
22/09/2010
RDA Q -- Queensland gives Federal Government a lesson in how to support rural doctors
The Rural Doctors Associations of Queensland and Australia (RDAQ and RDAA) are today congratulating the Queensland Government on the support that they are providing to rural doctors and suggesting that the Federal Government could learn a few lessons from them.
22/09/2010
RDAA scores major tax win for rural doctors
The Rural Doctors Association Australia (RDAA) is today celebrating the Government’s backflip announcement that rural doctors will now NOT be slugged by a great big new tax.
22/09/2010
SBS TV to put outback heroines...and the rewards of rural medical careers...in front of national audience
The national broadcast of a television documentary about female rural doctors—and why they find their work so rewarding—will help spread the message that rural medical practice is a great career choice.
22/09/2010
RDA SA -- Doctors welcome federal cancer funding for rural South Australia
The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Federal Government that it will provide $5.4 million to establish and enhance chemotherapy units in ten country South Australian hospitals and $54.3 million for the development of a new regional cancer centre at Whyalla.
22/09/2010
With a severe lack of rural workforce measures, this budget really needs a doctor
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says it is “very frustrated” with the glaring absence of serious measures to boost the rural doctor workforce in today’s federal budget.
22/09/2010
Media alert -- Rural Doctors Association President: availability for budget commentary
The President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Nola Maxfield, will be in Canberra for tomorrow’s federal budget and available for media interviews.
22/09/2010
Rural communities deserve fair share of health funds in budget
With over seven million Australians living in the country, rural communities deserve a fair proportion of health funding to ensure they are able to meet the improved targets for access standards, according to the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).
22/09/2010
Media alert -- SBS TV to put outback heroines...and the rewards of rural medical careers...in front of national audience
The national broadcast of a television documentary about female rural doctors—and why they find their work so rewarding—will help spread the message that rural medical practice is a great career choice.
22/09/2010
Rural doctors from iconic town take local action on climate change
Two rural doctors from the iconic Australian town of Gundagai today announced plans to tackle climate change from the ground up...literally. Drs Paul Mara and Virginia Wrice—who have been doctors in Gundagai for nearly three decades—have committed to planting 5000 trees a year indefinitely and achieving a carbon neutral surgery by the end of 2012.
22/09/2010
Ensure states don’t short-change rural, doctors urge Rudd Government
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned the Federal Government that it will need to be “extremely vigilant” to ensure some state governments don’t short-change rural hospitals and health services when allocating health funding from the single funding pool agreed to at the COAG meeting last week.
22/09/2010
Rural doctors urge state governments: don?t buy Healthcare House from Rudd Real Estate until the ‘rural foundations’ are fixed
In the lead-up to tomorrow?s COAG meeting, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging the state governments not to sign up to the Federal Government?s healthcare plan until it “comes to the party” with a significantly better deal on health services for rural and remote Australians.
22/09/2010
Poor health of rural men underlines urgent need for “significant investment” in rural healthcare
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says the latest report confirming the poorer health of rural and remote males compared with those living in the cities underlines the urgent need for major national initiatives to boost access to doctors and healthcare services in the bush.
22/09/2010
Rural doctors urge Minister: prove that capitation leads to healthier outcomes for diabetic patients
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, to come clean on ‘both halves’ of the diabetes capitation debate, saying while it agrees that patients who have a long-term care relationship with a general practice will achieve better health outcomes, it fears a pure capitation model could actually reduce doctor-to-patient contact and lead to worse health outcomes.
22/09/2010
Government’s new diabetes plan “of significant concern” to rural doctors
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned that a proposed plan for voluntary enrolment for diabetic patients in general practices significantly undervalues the comprehensive care that general practices already provide to patients with diabetes and is unlikely to improve their health outcomes.
22/09/2010
Doctors welcome Government’s block grant funding commitment for small rural hospitals
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed yesterday’s commitment by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that small rural hospitals may receive block grant funding rather than activity-based funding (or may receive a mix of both funding streams) under the Federal Government’s proposed hospital reform package. “While RDAA strong
22/09/2010
Extra doctor training places “very welcome”… now it’s time to back them up with a Rural Rescue Package
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has strongly welcomed today’s announcement by the Federal Government that it will substantially increase GP training places, specialist training places and prevocational general practice placements for medical graduates. The Association has urged, however, that the Government must also introduce a much-needed Rural Rescue Package if there is to be any hope of enticing more young doctors to rural and remote practice.
22/09/2010
RDASA media release -- Rural doctors call for clear election policies on SA country health services
With less than two weeks to go until South Australians head to the ballot box, the Rural Doctors’ Association of South Australia (RDASA) says SA’s Liberal and Labor parties must urgently put on the table their policies regarding country health services so voters can have time to consider them.
22/09/2010
Remember hardworking rural doctors this Christmas
Hundreds of rural and remote doctors across Australia will be working on Christmas Day and across the festive season to provide healthcare to their communities who, without them, would have none.
16/09/2010
Changes to Medicare items good start on removing red tape
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the changes to simplify the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) that the Federal Government will introduce in May next year. However, the RDAA has warned the government that whilst welcome the changes will do little to attract doctors to rural practice. The Association continues to call on the government to introduce a rural rescue package to help attract and retain doctors in rural practice.
16/09/2010
New figures underline urgent need for action on “appalling shortage” of rural doctors
The latest medical workforce figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) continue to underline the “appalling shortage” of doctors in rural Australia, and show that rural Australians are losing out substantially to the major cities when it comes to attracting doctors to their towns, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned.
16/09/2010
Rural doctors “very pleased” with significant hearing from PM
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says today’s visit by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to the Bridge Clinic rural general practice in Murray Bridge, South Australia—following an invitation by RDAA—has been extremely positive, with the Prime Minister giving rural doctors significantly more time than had been scheduled for the meeting and a wide range of critical rural health issues having been covered.
16/09/2010
Rural doctors hope PM’s visit to rural general practice “will be one of many”
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says the visit today (Wednesday) by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to a rural general practice in Murray Bridge, South Australia—following an invitation by RDAA—is a great opportunity for the Prime Minister to hear directly about rural doctors’ concerns, and it has urged the visit to “be one of many” that the Prime Minister makes to rural and remote practices across Australia in the coming months.
16/09/2010
Government’s cut to cataract rebate will hurt rural patients “enormously”
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned that the Federal Government’s plan to halve the Medicare rebate for cataract surgery will result in many rural and remote Australians being unable to afford the procedure, and could also dramatically reduce the number of city-based ophthalmologists willing to provide visiting cataract services in country Australia.
16/09/2010
Rural doctors 'not even invited' to national health consultation summit
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says it begs belief that, as the peak national representative body for rural and remote doctors, it was not invited to a critical summit on national health reform co-sponsored by the AMA and Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC) and held at Canberra Hospital yesterday.
16/09/2010
National Rural Health Workforce Roundtable media release -- Workforce Roundtable presses for action on rural health reform
At a meeting this week with the Minister for Rural and Regional Health, the Hon Warren Snowdon, representatives from organisations in the Rural Health Workforce Roundtable called for immediate change to the governance of Australia's health system in line with the recommendations of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC), with swift action on the funding and operation of the specific rural and remote strategies.
16/09/2010
RDAA survey shows widespread support for Medicare loading for rural and remote doctors
Over 80% of rural and remote doctors recently surveyed by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) believe adding a significant rural and remote loading on Medicare items would assist in recruiting and retaining doctors in their communities.
16/09/2010
National Roundtable to address growing violence in rural and remote workplaces
A National Roundtable at Parliament House in Canberra today (Wednesday 19 August 2009) will bring together concerned organisations in an urgent effort to address growing workplace violence against female professionals working in rural and remote Australia.
16/09/2010
Rural doctors to invite PM on rural health ‘fact finding’ tour
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) will write to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this week to invite him to participate in a national ‘fact finding’ tour of rural hospitals, rural practices, health centres and Aboriginal Medical Services.
16/09/2010
Rural Doctors welcome recognition of rural and regional health by Rudd Government
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says the establishment of the new Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery portfolio and the appointment of Warren Snowdon MP as the new Minister is recognition of the significant problems that Australians who live in the bush have in accessing health care services.
16/09/2010
Country GP uses household drill to save boy - and shows why helicopters cannot replace local doctors
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says two country doctors’ skills last Friday—in saving the life of a boy who had fallen off a pushbike in Maryborough, rural Victoria, and had severe bleeding on the brain—shows why rural doctors and local healthcare teams perform a vital role on-the-ground in country communities and cannot simply be replaced by distant retrieval helicopters.
16/09/2010
‘Welcome first step’ in fixing rural health crisis, but major investment still urgently needed
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed additional funding provided by the Rudd Government in this year’s budget as being a ‘first step’ towards fixing the rural health crisis—but it has warned that the additional funding is only a downpayment and major investment in the sector is still urgently required to make a real impact.
16/09/2010
Rural health must be a priority as Rudd Cabinet finalises Budget 2009-10
As the Rudd Cabinet sits down to finalise details for next month’s Federal Budget, rural doctors are urging each of the Cabinet members to think seriously about the critical need for additional measures to improve the sustainability of rural communities and their healthcare needs.
16/09/2010
GPs call for health stimulus (United General Practice Australia media release)
Australia’s General Practitioners have urged Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to invest in Australia’s primary health care system as a key component of the next economic stimulus package.
16/09/2010
Rural doctors urge Government -- build on, don't axe, critical support programs
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has urged the Rudd Government to better fund and build on the critical support programs it provides to entice and retain doctors in rural and remote Australia, not reduce the reach of the existing programs. The Association is seeking an absolute assurance from the Government that supports for rural doctors will not be reduced in the forthcoming budget.
16/09/2010
RDA NSW -- Far South Coast residents to bus it 1000km to Sydney tomorrow (Thursday) to protest Pambula Hospital closures
A busload of highly-concerned residents from the NSW Far South Coast will make a 1000 kilometre round-trip to Sydney tomorrow, Thursday 5 March, to deliver a petition of nearly 15,000 signatures urging the NSW Government to reinstate the much-needed maternity unit at Pambula Hospital and keep the Hospital open permanently.
16/09/2010
“Cruel irony” as NSW Government confirms maternity unit shutdown
In what the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has termed a case of “cruel irony”, the NSW Health Minister, John Della Bosca, has confirmed that the NSW Government will not reopen the muchneeded maternity unit at Pambula Hospital on the state’s Far South Coast.
16/09/2010
Health commission overlooks “priority number one” for rural health
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says it is “very disappointed” that the number one priority for fixing the rural health crisis—getting more health professionals into rural and remote Australia—has largely been overlooked in the interim report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission, A healthier future for all Australians, released today.
16/09/2010
Victorian GPs urged to assist rural doctors in fire ravaged areas
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is calling on Victorian GPs who can volunteer 2-5 days of their time to assist rural doctors in fire ravaged areas of country Victoria to meet increased demand for local medical services, as news comes in of some rural surgeries being devastated by Saturday’s bushfires and at least one rural doctor being admitted to hospital due to fire-related injuries.
16/09/2010
RDA NSW -- NSW Health Minister missing in action
It’s nearly February, but Pambula Hospital is still waiting for Minister’s promised pre-Christmas visit The Rural Doctors Association of NSW (RDA NSW) is urging NSW Health Minister, John Della Bosca, to follow through on his promise to visit the troubled Pambula Hospital on the state’s Far South Coast, despite it being nearly eight weeks since he said he’d do so.
16/09/2010
Rural doctors welcome latest funding round for rural health infrastructure
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed funding provided by the Federal Government to a variety of rural and remote health infrastructure projects in the latest round of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP).
16/09/2010
Rural Health Workforce Roundtable -- September meeting communique -- September 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
RDAA survey -- July 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Working Safe roundtable media release -- August 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Media alert -- roundtable on rural and remote violence -- August 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Rural doctors to invite PM on rural health 'fact finding' tour -- July 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Welcome Warren Snowden -- June 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Country GP uses household drill to save boy - and shows why helicopters cannot replace local doctors -- May 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Budget reaction -- May 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Rural health must be a priority as Rudd Cabinet finalises Budget 2009-10.pdf
16/09/2010
UGPA media release -- letter to Prime Minister -- April 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Rural doctors urge Government -- build on, don't axe, critical support programs -- April 2009.pdf
16/09/2010
Save Pambula Hospital Action Group media release -- Sydney bus trip -- March 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
Pambula maternity unit -- February 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
Health Commission interim report -- February 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
Victorian GPs urged to assist rural doctors in fire ravaged areas -- February 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
RDA NSW -- NSW Health Minister missing in action -- January 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
Rural doctors welcome latest funding round for rural health infrastructure -- January 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
Health Commission
14/09/2010
Health Commission interim report -- February 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
Victorian GPs urged to assist rural doctors in fire ravaged areas -- February 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
RDA NSW -- NSW Health Minister missing in action -- January 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
Rural doctors welcome latest funding round for rural health infrastructure -- January 2009.pdf
14/09/2010
Focus website - Project plan BASELINE.pdf
07/09/2010
Policy 2
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07/09/2010