Rural and remote health in the spotlight in Darwin next week

17 May 2015

The biggest event on the Australian rural and remote health calendar starts next Sunday (24 May) at the Darwin Convention Centre. There are seven days to go before more than 1000 delegates will come together to help achieve better health and wellbeing for people living in rural and remote areas.

Over the following four days delegates will share their experiences of the challenges that remote and rural communities have been faced with and overcome. More importantly, they will develop innovative solutions for better health and celebrate what a great place rural and remote Australia is to live in.

The Conference will see the formation of a powerful if temporary community, based on the common interests of people from around the nation. They will represent the entire range of health and other caring professions, all of them determined to put rural and remote health in the policy spotlight and improve wellbeing on the ground.

The multi-disciplinary nature of the Conference and the experience and passion of delegates makes it a powerful force for advocacy for better health outcomes and services for 6.7 million Australians.

“We know that Australians living outside the major cities have relatively poor access to a GP, nurse, pharmacist, allied health professional or other health professional. Chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease are more prevalent and, on average, people in the country die two years earlier than their city cousins,” National Rural Health Alliance CEO Gordon Gregory said.

“Although the recent Budget was a muted affair, there are reforms and reviews underway that will have a significant impact on the delivery of health services in rural and remote communities.”

“The Prime Minister will deliver a special video message to delegates at the Final Plenary session," Mr Gregory said. "When he was Minister for Health Tony Abbott made a spritely appearance at the Conference so he understands its importance. We will pass the agreed priority proposals to him as soon as the Conference in Darwin comes to an end."

“These proposals will describe some of the steps that can be taken to improve rural and remote health. They will be evidence-based, programmatic measures from those at the ‘coal-face’ who know they will make a difference to health and wellbeing in remote and rural areas.”

For information on the 13th National Rural Health Conference and any last-minute registrations, visit http://www.ruralhealth.org.au/13nrhc/

Media Release Contact Info: 

Gordon Gregory – Chief Executive:            02 6285 4660
Tim Kelly – Chairperson:                           0438 011 383
Leanne Coleman – Conference Manager:   02 6285 4660