People living in rural and remote areas of Australia generally experience poorer health outcomes and die younger than their counterparts in the major cities. The Alliance examines some of the underlying reasons in its recent Submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health Inquiry into Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in Primary Health Care.
The Alliance explores the issue from four angles: the prevalence of health risk factors, the prevalence of chronic disease, the social determinants of health and access to primary care. Specifically, it considers:
- examples of best practice, both in Australia and internationally;
- opportunities for the Medicare payment system to support best practice;
- the role of the new Primary Health Networks, private health insurers and State and Territory Governments;
- examples of innovative models which incentivise access, quality and efficiency;
- the importance of a multidisciplinary approach; and
- examples of effective models which improve outcomes for high end frequent users of health services.
The improved management and prevention of chronic disease is an important rural health issue and, at a national level, it is a key concern for the government. The Alliance welcomes the chance to contribute to this Inquiry.