Prime Minister-Elect Tony Abbott has today confirmed the experienced team his Ministry will have in health and social services, two of the key areas influencing the wellbeing of people in rural and remote areas.
Peter Dutton, as Minister for Health, will provide the continuity and experience Tony Abbott has promised in the portfolio. With Senator Fiona Nash as Assistant Minister for Health there will be a strong rural and regional voice.
The people of country areas will welcome the proposed extra GP consultation rooms for supervising registrars and medical students in rural and remote locations, and the doubling of the practice incentive payment for teaching in general practices.
Given its strong multidisciplinary nature, the National Rural Health Alliance will welcome, in particular, the proposed new investment in scholarships for nursing and allied health, both for areas of particular clinical need (eg diabetes) and for country locations.
"We hope for a particular focus on illness prevention and health promotion, as well as stronger primary care," Lesley Barclay, NRHA Chairperson said.
The Coalition's commitment to the proposals of the McKeon Review and for a shared electronic health record for patients are also of fundamental importance.
As Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews will bring great experience to a large and critical area of government activity and expenditure. The NRHA will be offering its wide network of support to Senator Mitch Fifeld for his considerations of the rural challenges faced by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The NRHA will be using its wide network, based on its 34 national organisation members, to support the work of the new Government to improve the health of country people. This will include continuing to make the case for particular consideration of the circumstances and interests of country people.
Lesley Barclay - Chair: 0412 282 801
Gordon Gregory - Executive Director: 02 6285 4660