Rural Health Care focus at Regional Development Conference

Rural Health Care, experiencing poorer health than their metropolitan counterparts

Rural communities determining local healthcare needs

Professor Farmer says six rural communities in Victoria and Queensland will take part in the three-year study, which is about to start recruiting local people to help design their own health care approach. The research team will evaluate the results and recommend how this can be translated into practice.

‘The model in this study will empower local communities to determine what is important to them in terms of local health care needs and viable ways of meeting them in rural places.’

The project has been funded by a $418,000 Federal Government National Health and Medical Research Council grant and a further $525,000 from La Trobe University and partner institutions.

These are Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local, James Cook University, Townsville Mackay Medicare Local, Dental Health Services Victoria, the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS Victoria and Queensland) and The Victorian Department of Health.

There’s incontrovertible evidence,’ says Professor Farmer, ‘that people living in rural places in Australia tend to experience poorer health than their metropolitan counterparts.

The project is based on an earlier study of Professor Farmer’s into community health participation in Scotland. Titled Remote Service Futures, it won a Scottish Government innovation award.

Professor Farmer says many health problems in rural Australia are public health issues of overweight, smoking, having high blood pressure and mental health problems.

Loddon Mallee Murray Medicare Local CEO, Matt Jones agrees. He says Medicare Local is keen to identify ways in which meaningful community participation can occur. ‘This project provides a fantastic opportunity to involve local people in planning to improve services and health outcomes.’

Listen to Professor Farmer discuss the project on ABC Radio National’s Bush Telegraph

Innovative programmes like this one for Rural Communities led by Professor Farmer need to be profiled and promoted to a broader community beyond the Health sector. That is why Australian Regional Development Conferenc wants to feature and profile social development and not just economic regional development. Rural health care delivery will be a key theme of the conference.

Rural Health delivery at Regional Development Conference

Call for papers on Health Care issues for regional development.

Authors or organisations interested in submitting a paper or presenting a workshop are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 300 words outlining the aims, contents and conclusions of their paper or presentation; or about their intended role in a workshop.

Please indicate that your submission will be in Environment and Sustainability stream

All proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Program Committee. Presentations will be selected to provide a program that offers a comprehensive and diverse treatment of issues related to the conference theme.

If you you would like to speak at the The Australian Regional Development Conference please go to the conference website to submit your paper or contact the conference secretariat.

Australian Regional Development Conference 15-16 October 2014, The Commercial Club Albury  Secretariat: (T) 61 7 5502 2068 (F) 07 5527 3298  Email: [email protected] URL:

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