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.