LETTER: Rural health let down in funding expense

As 118 of Australia’s top rural health researchers gathered in Canberra yesterday for a major symposium, a new report reveals just how short of funds they are.

Rural health research attracted just 1.1 per cent of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding from 2000 to 2014.

That’s despite a third of Australia living outside of cities.

People living in rural and remote Australia have poorer health outcomes and less access to health services than their urban counterparts. Our article demonstrates that rural health research is critically underfunded,

The symposium marks 20 years since the first university department of rural health was established in Broken Hill.

Interest in rural health research is growing because there are so many issues to be addressed.

Rural people have higher mortality rates, higher rates of chronic disease, a higher incidence of smoking related illnesses and higher rates of suicide. But there’s simply not enough funding to tackle that sobering reality.

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