The Coalition Government is delivering a permanent and expanded Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner from July 1 as a new Commissioner is appointed to replace Professor Paul Worley who was the first National Rural Health Commissioner following the creation of the office in 2017.
Member for Barker, Tony Pasin said continuing and strengthening the Office will help deliver the Government’s key reforms and targeted rural health priorities to support practical change for communities.
“Our Coalition Government is passionate about ensuring rural Australians enjoy equitable access to our nation’s world-class health system.
“It shouldn’t matter that you live in Mount Gambier or Kapunda, all Australians deserve to have their voice heard when it comes to accessing local health care,” Mr Pasin said.
“That’s why we established the office of National Rural Health Commissioner back in 2017 and why we today stand proudly beside our commitment to rural Australians with an ongoing Office.
“No two rural communities are the same, which is why innovative and flexible models are needed to solve the complex challenges many face,” Mr Pasin said.
“We have delivered the $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy, which encompasses a suite of measures specifically designed to overcome the many challenges faced by rural communities in trying to attract medical and health professionals.
“Through the Murray Darling Medical Schools Network, the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund, and other programmes, we are delivering more opportunities regional students who in future will become rural doctors.”
In addition to the extended and expanded Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner the appointment of eminent rural health advocate, medical practitioner and researcher Associate Professor Ruth Stewart as Australia’s next National Rural Health Commissioner demonstrates the Federal Government’s commitment to improving health care in the bush.
The Commissioner will be supported by two Deputy Commissioners to specifically look after allied health, nursing and Indigenous health.
Associate Professor Stewart has had a distinguished career in rural health, both as a practitioner and an academic; most recently working as an Associate Professor of Rural Medicine, Director of Rural Clinical Training and Support at James Cook University.
“Under Associate Professor Stewart’s leadership, the Office will take a broader approach to rural health, and will help deliver the Government’s key reforms and targeted rural health priorities to support practical change for communities,” Mr Pasin said.
“The Coalition Government has shown it is willing to tackle head on the challenges of health services in rural and regional Australia, and this appointment further demonstrates that commitment to make the regions a better place to live and do business.”
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