10th Conference Communiqué
The coherence and potential strength of the rural and remote health sector were again demonstrated through the10th National Rural Health Conference in Cairns. Over 900 delegates attended the event and provided Minister Nicola Roxon and the Government with some clear directions and encouragement for change at what the Minister herself described as “a fertile time for health reform” in Australia.
Delegates agreed that genuine engagement with communities at the regional level was required to enable the sector to meet its objective of equal health for people in rural areas.
There were strong focuses on the social and economic determinants of health and the health impacts of climate change. Health workforce issues were also a high priority, with agreement about the need for greater ‘equivalence’ of support across the professions and speedier adoption of new health professional roles.
Delegates agreed a set of nineteen priority recommendations covering major change to the structure of the health system, a national rural health plan, climate change and a range of more specific matters. These will inform the future policy and advocacy agendas for organisations in the rural and remote health sector, including the NRHA.
Full Set of Conference Recommendations
Conference delegates generated some 300 recommendations for improved rural health. Nineteen of these were selected as Priority Recommendations, were endorsed by Conference delegates and presented to Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health, on the final day of the Conference. The others have not been endorsed by the Alliance or its Member Bodies but provide a useful snapshot of issues of concern to people in the rural and remote health sector as at May 2009.
Conference Media Releases
Media Releases from the 10th National Rural Health Conference are all available on the Media page on this website.