Bringing Advanced Health Care Services to Remote Communities

A successful program to help overcome health workforce shortages in remote communities will receive a further $6 million from the Australian Government to deliver its life-changing services.

Page last updated: 30 May 2018

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30 May 2018

A successful program to help overcome health workforce shortages in remote communities will receive a further $6 million from the Turnbull Government to deliver its life-changing services.

The Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) has supported thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in more than 50 communities with access to much-needed health care, from general practice to hearing services.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, said the RAHC had supported more than 5,200 specialist and GP placements since 2008 and played an important role in addressing the shortfall in heath service delivery in remote areas of the Northern Territory.

“Without the health corps, many local people would have to delay or even go without appropriate care services,” Minister Wyatt said.

“I congratulate Aspen Medical for delivering the program, which continues to grow and attract dedicated health professionals who are changing many people’s lives for the better.

“This is fundamental to the Turnbull Government’s commitment to working with local communities to help in Closing the Gap in health equality.”

Minister Wyatt made the RAHC funding announcement while touring the latest in surgical technology, a self-contained mobile operating theatre, developed by Aspen Medical.

“These units have proved their worth providing emergency surgery at centres including Cooma and Moree but they can be configured as required, to deliver a variety of surgical procedures,” Minister Wyatt said.

“For instance a surgery could be set up to provide ear or eye operations or renal support in regional and remote communities, enabling patients to remain on country or as close to their communities as possible.”

Since 2008, the RAHC program has expanded from 100 health professional placements annually to more than 680 in 2017–2018.

“This popular program has grown thanks to an 80 per cent return rate by participating health professionals, with the majority of these often city based experts building strong partnerships with remote families and communities,” said Minister Wyatt.

“While the Turnbull Government is strongly supporting the training of more local indigenous health professionals to live and work on country, the Remote Area Health Corps is continuing to make an outstanding contribution to our First People’s health care.”

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.

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