National Rural Health Alliance Inc

Equivalence of support for nurses and allied health professionals
A longstanding aim of the Alliance is to secure greater equivalence of support for nursing and allied health at all stages of the pathway from entry into studies (uni or TAFE), right through to retirement. This should be done without any reduction in the efforts to recruit and retain doctors in rural areas – with the new and expanded programs for other professionals learning from the lessons of GP programs. Ways in which this can be achieved will be outlined to the Department of Health (working now on a further review of its workforce programs). Tell us your views about what recruitment and retention programs would work best for nursing and allied health:

Partyline – have your say!
Copy is invited for the next edition of Partyline. We would like to hear about health issues in your local area – whether from a community or professional perspective. You are encouraged to share stories about local health initiatives, case studies of community achievements or analyses of rural health policy. 500-600 words. Due date for copy is 9 July, for publication in late August.

Palliative care
The Alliance made a late submission to the Senate Inquiry into Palliative Care. People in rural and remote communities are entitled to quality of life support when they choose to spend the end stage of their life in their own communities. The role that local health services play in providing general palliative care as part of their work in rural and remote communities should be recognised, supported and funded. Health professionals, patients and their families may also need improved access to specialised palliative care – including through Patients’ Assisted Travel Schemes and/or special funding arrangements.

NRHA staff visited the NBN Co Discovery Truck in Queanbeyan before it travels to central Western NSW and the North Coast/Hunter region. We found out more about fibre, wireless and the new faster satellite connections being prioritised by the NBN Co – as well as interim satellite connections starting soon. Future locations of the NBN Co truck are at

Registration for the eHealth record (PCEHR) is open from 1 July. You can find a range of useful information at

How the health system performs for rural people
The Alliance has a strong interest in the performance of the health system – especially in rural and remote areas – and the effectiveness of various programs. This is a complex area, with current data often not available, making it hard to identify progress or gaps at the national level. We are grateful to the COAG Reform Council for the special attention it gives to rural and remote issues, including through the production of a supplement dealing specifically with outcomes by remoteness. We are also working with the Department of Regional Australia on wellbeing and service indicators for rural and remote areas.

Disability scheme
The Alliance is working to try to ensure that the rural/remote voice is ‘at the table’ as developments occur with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Injury Insurance Scheme. We have met with the National Injury Insurance Scheme Advisory Group appointed by Minister Shorten and with some of the key people involved with the NDIS. In rural and remote areas the separation between health, aged and disability care is more imagined than real. We need to watch these spaces.

Health Workforce Australia
The Alliance attended the National Health Workforce Reform Implementation Workshop held by Health Workforce Australia on 5-6 June in Adelaide. It made a brief submission to HWA’s consultation on a Health Professional Prescribing Pathway in Australia, drawing attention to the current arrangements for access to medicines that is provided in certain circumstances to people in rural and remote locations through special processes that involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and remote area nurses in particular. Among the other pieces of HWA work with which the Alliance is involved is the Health Professionals Prescribing Pathway Project.

3rd Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium
Keynote addresses from the 3rd Rural and Remote Health Symposium held in Adelaide (19-21 June) can be viewed at The work at the Symposium will contribute to a clear national rural research strategy aimed at improving health care for people in rural and remote communities across Australia, and a drive to attract increased funding from governments and the private sector to support the strategy. People and organisations everywhere will be encouraged to help take forward the ideas and specific research proposals as they are refined. A 30-minute television program on the Symposium is being produced for broadcast soon on the new Rural Health Channel.

12th Conference in Adelaide, 7-10 April 2013 – call for abstracts open
If you want to be on the program at the 12th National Rural Health Conference (7-10 April 2013) submitting an abstract is the first step. More than ever before, we want to infuse the 12th National Rural Health Conference with the good news in rural and remote health and wellbeing. Detailed guidelines about the formats, content areas, topics, the assessment criteria to be used and timelines are all on the Conference website via

Registration details are now available on the registration page of the Conference website.

Online registrations will open on 1 August 2012 but for those who want to get in early you can download a hardcopy from and register now. Accommodation options will be available shortly.

Exhibition and sponsorship opportunities are also available – details on the Conference website.

If your organisation would like to hold its own pre-conference event please contact us to discuss how we can help you.

Further information:

Registrations and online applications in the fourth round of RHCE2 grants are being accepted from 8 June to 8 August 2012. Please note all round 4 projects must be completed by 30 October 2013.
Further information:,
phone 1800 987 440 or email

Media and Communications
An article by a RAMUS scholar (How to manage camels and to suture without fainting) was published in the Public Health Association of Australia’s In Touch. Seizing opportunities with both hands was published in the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association’s The Health Advocate. Media releases have been issued on the latest issue of the AJRH; on the Report from the COAG Reform Council; and on Drug Action Week. At the beginning of Drug Action Week the Alliance released Fact Sheet 33: Illicit drug use in rural Australia.

R U our Friend?
Friends of the Alliance are entitled to discounted registration rates to the 12th National Rural Health Conference. To ensure your membership is up to date contact Kellie at or visit Friends online.

Are you on the Alliance’s Mailing List?
You receive eNews because you are on the Alliance’s email list. But are you also on the mailing list to receive Partyline (our newsletter) and our rural health calendar in December? If not, email your full postal address to

Follow us on Twitter @NRHAlliance (#ruralhealth, #ruralhealthconf #3RRHSS)

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