Better in the Bush? is the title of the Communiqué from the annual face-to-face meeting of Council of the Alliance held at the end of November. Through its broad membership of 36 national organisations, the Alliance is well placed to develop positions on rural and remote aspects of government policy and service delivery.
Over the four day meeting in Canberra, Council considered opportunities for the Abbott Government in areas such as eHealth, the health workforce, rural health research and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. There was discussion of the value of supporting Aboriginal health professionals and health students; and support for the government’s commitment to a new definition of ‘rurality’ to strengthen support for the rural health workforce.
An eHealth role-play provided insights into how a consultation might occur between a patient in a rural area and a specialist in the city. The overall thrust of the meeting was the positive belief that building on the ingenuity and the good relationships that often exist between clinicians, patients and local health services can make it Better in the bush