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A message for RACGP Rural members

Statement from RACGP Rural Chair, Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda

RACGP Rural recognises that rural doctors and health teams provide high-quality care in regional, rural and remote Australia and continue to do so in a safe and reliable manner across both hospital and community-based primary care daily.

The ABC 4 Corners report on Monday 9 September 2019 highlighted tragic examples of patient suffering due to treatment received in regional and rural areas.

We believe that a thorough investigation is required into all aspects of the patient care that may have contributed to these outcomes.

Due to resource and staffing constraints, there is a considerable health disparity between urban and more remote communities that must be addressed by both State and Federal Governments. We call for adequate resourcing of health services, staff and appropriate training to address this disparity.

The National Rural Generalist Training Pathway, currently in development, holds promise to deliver more doctors to rural communities, trained in the additional skills required of them, including emergency skills, primary care and other skills.

But, we cannot rely on this as a sole solution. These issues will be raised and progressed with governments and policy-makers, in order to ensure we are delivering the best healthcare possible to rural and remote communities.

RACGP Rural supports you by contributing to rural health policy reforms and providing a voice on key issues. We will also continue to set the standards for quality general practice and provide ongoing education and professional development to existing and future rural clinicians. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to speak about these issues via email to rural@racgp.org.au.

Download this position statement

A message for RACGP Rural members (PDF 130 KB)