About the fund

The RHOF helps to improve health outcomes for people living in regional, rural and remote locations by supporting the delivery of outreach health activities. Outreach activities involve health professionals going out to visit remote areas.

Why it is important

People living in remote and very remote areas have poorer access to health services than people in regional areas and major cities. They also have lower rates of bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening and higher rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations.

Remote communities do not have the population to support a permanent health professional, such as a GP. So people from these communities may need to travel long distances, or even relocate, to attend health services or receive specialised treatment. This creates a significant barrier to receiving health care.

The RHOF helps reduce this barrier by supporting health professionals, including specialists, to visit remote communities.

Goals

The RHOF aims to:

  • provide public and private outreach health services that address prioritised community needs
  • broaden the range and choice of health services available in regional, rural and remote locations
  • make it easier, financially, for health professionals to provide outreach services.

Meeting our goals

The RHOF supports outreach health activities to address health issues in regional, rural and remote locations, in particular:

  • maternity and paediatric health
  • eye health
  • mental health
  • chronic disease management, including chronic pain management.

The RHOF financially supports health professionals who provide outreach services.  

This may include:

  • paying for costs associated with providing outreach services (such as travel and accommodation)
  • backfilling salaried health professionals
  • providing funding for locum for private health professionals.

Who we work with

The Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) manage state-based organisations for RHOF on our behalf.

Contact

Rural Health Outreach Fund

Contact us for questions and further information about the fund.

RHOF [at] health.gov.au

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Last updated: 
14 December 2021