On Wednesday 10 June, the National Rural Health Alliance attended a roundtable workshop in Canberra to discuss the development of a new National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions (the current framework was published in 2005 and is now considered out of date). The roundtable was hosted by the Commonwealth Department of Health, which is leading the work on behalf of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council. Around 40 representatives from governments, non-government organisations and universities attended the roundtable, the purpose of which was to solicit views about the design of the new strategic framework.
One of the strong themes participants raised during the roundtable was the importance of developing a framework that included measurable targets relevant to the prevention and management of chronic conditions. Participants also strongly supported the notion of developing a framework that focused on equity: ensuring that the greatest efforts in preventing and managing chronic conditions were directed at those in the greatest need, or at greatest risk. Participants also made suggestions on how the Department might consult more effectively during the process of developing the new framework.
The next steps in the development of the framework have yet to be announced, but the Alliance will be keeping a close eye on progress and taking every available opportunity to advocate for people in rural and remote Australia