Media Releases 2017
RDAA/RDAT - Mersey Community Hospital could be a Rural Generalist ‘showcase’ facility
The introduction of a Rural Generalist model of care at the Mersey Community Hospital in North West Tasmania would lead to significant budget savings, ensure a wide range of medical services for the region's patients, and make the hospital a 'showcase' facility for rural medical care.
The Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania (RDAT) and Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) have lodged a formal 'solutions paper' with the Tasmanian Government, demonstrating how a Rural Generalist model of care could work at the Mersey and the significant cost-savings it would generate.
Dr Alexandra Seidel, RDAT President, said that changing the model could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"It is up to $300,000 per year more expensive for each position filled by a specialist locum at a facility like the Mersey, than to have a fully-funded Rural Generalist doctor," said Dr Seidel.
Doctors welcome continued investment in Rural Workforce Agencies
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed a Federal Government announcement that it will invest $93 million in Australia's network of state Rural Workforce Agencies, with a focus on delivering more Australian-trained doctors and other health professionals to regional, rural and remote areas. In making the announcement, the Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie MP, said that with an expected oversupply of 7000 doctors in Australia by 2030, the challenge going forward was to ensure the distribution of doctors "to ensure all Australians have access to the medical and health services they need." RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said it was very pleasing to see the Government's continuing strong focus on boosting the rural and remote health workforce.
Rural patients get raw deal from rising Private Health Insurance
With the cost of Private Health Insurance set to rise again, patients in rural areas will be getting even less value for money than ever before, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned. RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said many rural and remote Australians either don’t hold private health insurance (PHI) or can't use it due to limited access to private healthcare facilities in rural areas. “PHI is increasingly becoming a luxury that many rural families can’t see the value in” Dr McPhee said.
Latest 'Closing the Gap' outcomes of deep concern
The significant lack of improvement in the latest 'Closing the Gap' report, released today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, is of deep concern and emphasises that more must be done to improve life expectancy, health and other outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned. While the Government is on track to halve the gap in Indigenous students attaining Year 12 education by 2020 — and to potentially close the gap in enrolments of Indigenous children for early childhood education by 2025 — targets to close the gap in other critical areas like life expectancy, infant mortality, education and employment remain elusive. "This latest report should be a strong wake-up call to us all that a significantly greater effort is required to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people" RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said.
Rural Health Commissioner a step closer to becoming reality
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has strongly welcomed an announcement today by the Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie MP, that the Government will table legislation to create the role of National Rural Health Commissioner. RDAA hopes this important statutory position will receive the full support of all political parties. "It is wonderful to see this critical role moving significantly closer to reality — we are hopeful that given the importance of the role to rural healthcare in Australia, the legislation will have unanimous support and speedy transit through both houses" RDAA President, Dr Ewen McPhee, said. "We hope to see the inaugural National Rural Health Commissioner appointed and commencing in the role as soon as possible."
Media statement - Critical care: International doctors crucial to rural Australia
Australia has one of the most affordable, accessible and comprehensive healthcare systems in the world, with a goal of equitable access to health care for all people.
With our vast landmass and range of communities, achieving this goal of equitable access has always been a challenge, part of which is the recruitment and retention of doctors in rural and remote areas – of which we have many.
For the people in these communities to receive timely and local access to health services, we rely on a workforce that has a large number of doctors who have trained overseas.
Greater rural focus critical under new GP training arrangement
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed an announcement by the Federal Government that the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) will be able to directly participate in the selection of doctors into their GP training programs, commencing from the 2018 intake. However, the Association has written to the RACGP seeking a firm commitment that, in selecting doctors for GP training under the new arrangement, the RACGP will implement a formal system where additional weighting is given to applicants from rural backgrounds or who show a strong intent to work in rural general practice.
RDA NSW - Rural doctors welcome new NSW Government Cabinet
The Rural Doctors Association of New South Wales (RDA NSW) has congratulated the new Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian, on her appointment, and thanked former Premier Mike Baird and retiring Health Minister Jillian Skinner for their services to NSW.
Dr Emma Cunningham, President of RDA NSW and a rural doctor from the Snowy Mountains, said that the NSW Coalition Government had achieved important inroads into securing the future of rural health care under the leadership of Premier Baird and Minister Skinner.
“We thank outgoing Minister Skinner for her involvement in rural health issues and for her support over the years.
“She was a frequent guest at the RDA NSW annual conference, and always considered issues affecting rural health as important.
Targeted funding needed for National Rural Generalist Pathway
Rural Doctors Association of Australia Pre-Budget Submission
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is calling for an increase in funding for the implementation of a training program to train the next generation of rural doctors.
Implementation of a National Rural Generalist Pathway was a key election promise from the Turnbull Government, but RDAA has said in its Pre-Budget Submission that further investment is needed to ensure its expansion and sustainability in all states.
Dr Ewen McPhee, RDAA President, said that the Government should consolidate primary health care reforms that are already underway before any new policy initiatives are introduced.
Rural Health must remain ‘front and centre’ after Cabinet reshuffle
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has today welcomed the new Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, and said they will be working hard to ensure that issues concerning rural health remain a focus for the Turnbull Government.
“Minister Hunt has taken on this challenging portfolio at a critical time,” said Dr Ewen McPhee, RDAA President.
“There are some key areas needing urgent action that would make a real difference to health outcomes for rural Australians.
“It is critical that the new Minister focuses on the establishment of the Rural Health Commissioner.
Rural doctors acknowledge Sussan Ley’s work in Health Portfolio
Dr Ewen McPhee, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has today said that Sussan Ley, who has just resigned as Minister for Health, was a supporter of rural health and made important contributions to health policy.
“Ms Ley worked very hard in her role as Health Minister and we thank her for her service in this difficult portfolio.
“She was a strong advocate for Health Care Homes, and we are keen to see this work continue under the new minister.
Private Health Insurance reform process: real possibilities for rural healthcare
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says it looks forward to seeing recommendations over the coming months from a committee established by the Federal Government to provide advice on reforms to private health insurance in Australia. "The Australian" newspaper has this week reported that consideration is being given by the committee to provide private health fund members in regional and remote areas with “larger Medicare payments or more generous insurance subsidies to compensate for a lack of services.”