Healthier approach to country living needed

A FAIRER go for the seven million people living in rural and remote Australia needs to start with recognition that funding models and programs are not working to fix the disparities existing in rural and remote Australia.

Living in the bush is great for your sense of wellbeing and bad for your health.

There is an enormous gap between the health outcomes of people living in rural and remote Aust­ralia compared with those living in metropolitan areas.

If we can reduce that gap in health and wellbeing between people in rural and remote areas on the one hand, and people in metropolitan areas on the other, we can dramatically improve participation and productivity, and increase Aust­ralia’s economic growth.

We need a national commitment to address this health deficit.

A big part of that is about governments working together, with communities, to address the challenges we face in attracting and retaining the right health workforce.

Geri Malone,

National Rural Health Alliance chair

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