National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health



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National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health

Foreword


The National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health has been developed through collaboration between the Commonwealth, and State and the Northern Territory governments by the Rural Health Standing Committee. It presents a national strategic vision for health care for Australians living in regional, rural and remote areas.

The Framework recognises the unique challenges of providing health care in rural and remote Australia and the importance to all Australians of providing timely access to quality and safe health care services, no matter where they live.

Significant consultation was undertaken across all jurisdictions with policy makers, peak bodies, such as the National Rural Health Alliance, and a wide range of other rural stakeholder groups to inform development of the Framework. The time, input and advice of all involved is acknowledged and appreciated.

The Framework is intended for use by all engaged in the planning, funding and delivering of health services in regional, rural and remote Australia – governments, communities, local health service providers, advocacy and community groups and members of the public. It aims to identify the systemic issues that most require attention to improve health outcomes for rural and remote Australians, such as access; appropriate models of care; a sustainable workforce; the development of collaborative partnerships; and, governance approaches, ensuring that differences between health services and communities are respected and without impeding local planning.

The Framework will provide continuity of strategy development and provide the foundation to support a nationally coordinated approach to effective service delivery, whilst enabling flexibility to recognise local circumstances.

The National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health was endorsed by the Standing Council on Health at their meeting on 11 November 2011. The Rural Health Standing Committee will continue to promote and use the Framework to support policy development; health care planning; and, program delivery in the changing landscape of Australian health care in the years to come.

Dr Kim Hames MLA

Chair


Standing Council on Health

Contents


Foreword 2

Executive summary 4

Purpose and scope 4

Why a Framework for Rural and Remote Health? 5

The National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health 5

Vision 5


Goals 5

Outcome areas 6

The rural context 6

Box 1: Classifying ‘remoteness’ 7

Health services 10

Rural and Remote Hospitals 11

Health status 13

Box 2: Rurality, distance and prevalence link to health outcomes 13

Mental health 13

Dental health 13

Box 3: Closing the Gap targets 15

Determinants of health 16

Remoteness 16

The rural and remote challenge for health service delivery 16

Rural and remote health service delivery is not the same 17

The policy context 18

Developing the National Strategic Framework 18

Where does this Framework fit with other health policies and plans? 19

Box 4: National Health Reform 19

National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health 21

Vision 21

Goals 21


Principles 22

Key outcome areas 22

Outcome area 1: Access 23

Introduction 23

Meeting community needs – the Central Highlands Community Health Centre, Ouse (Tasmania) 24

Using technology to improve access to services 25

Outcome area 1: Access 26

Outcome area 2: Service models and models of care 27

Introduction 27

Multipurpose Service Program 27

Networking Cancer Services - CanNET (Western Australia) 28

Outcome area 2: Service models and models of care 29

Outcome area 3: Health workforce 30

Introduction 30

Rural Workforce Incentives (National) 30

Recruiting the right workforce 31

Retaining rural and remote health professionals 32

Rural Generalist Medicine (Queensland) 33

Remote Area Nursing Emergency Guidelines and Training (Victoria) 33

Outcome area 3: Health workforce 34

Outcome area 4: Collaborative partnerships and planning 35

Introduction 35

Enhancing health services in the Pilbara (Western Australia) 36

Local planning 36

Implementation of the Strategy for Planning Country Health Services (South Australia) 36

Building partnerships for healthier communities 37

Healthy partnerships in the Ntaria Aboriginal Community (Northern Territory) 38

Collaborative development of primary health care clinical guidelines (Queensland) 38

Outcome area 4: Collaborative partnerships and planning 39

Outcome area 5: Strong leadership, governance, transparency and performance 40

Introduction 40

Supporting Clinical Governance (Queensland) 41

Credentialing and Scope of Practice for Rural and Remote Districts 41

Continuous Quality Improvement in Primary Health Care 41

Improving accountability and performance 41

Aboriginal Health Key Performance Indicators (Northern Territory) 42

Outcome area 5: Strong leadership, governance, transparency and performance 43

Glossary of key terms 44

References 47

Appendix A: Consultation participation 49

Workshop schedule 49

Participating Stakeholder Organisations: 49

Queensland 49

Victoria 50

New South Wales 51

South Australia 51

Tasmania 52

Australian Capital Territory 53

Northern Territory 53

Western Australia 54

Interviews: 54

Written submissions received: 56







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