Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan has welcomed the appointment of the country’s first National Rural Health Commissioner.
He said the Commissioner will be an independent and high-profile advocate for regional, and is part of important reforms to regional and rural health in Australia.
“The people of regional an rural Australia are the heart and soul of our country, but their health outcomes are often diminished due to their remoteness and reduced access to health services,” he said.
“The Coalition Government is determined that this be addressed. The role of the National Rural Health Commissioner is to be an independent advocate, giving us frank advice on regional and rural health reform and representing the needs and rights of regional Australia.”
Mr Hogan said regional health is built on the commitment, the expertise and the courage of the rural health workforce, and addressing the distribution of the health workforce in regional is a key priority.
The Coalition Government is providing $4.4 million to establish the new Commissioner, who will work with communities, the health sector, universities, specialist training colleges and across all levels of government to improve rural health policies and champion the cause of rural practice.
While the Commissioner’s first priority is the development of the medical generalist pathway, the Commissioner’s role will be much broader and will give consideration to the nursing, dental health, Indigenous health, mental health, midwifery and allied health needs in regional Australia.