RURAL ADVOCATE: Dr Ewen McPhee said the government decision will ensure rural and remote communities have strong, independent advocates.
RURAL ADVOCATE: Dr Ewen McPhee said the government decision will ensure rural and remote communities have strong, independent advocates.

Emerald doctor backs new rural health appointments

AN EMERALD doctor today praised a Federal Government decision to strengthen the number and expertise of rural health policy advisers.

Deputies will be appointed to assist the National Rural Health Commissioner, a position held by Professor Paul Worley until next month.

They will provide counsel on Indigenous health, nursing, and allied health.

Emerald doctor and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine president Ewen McPhee said the decision will ensure rural and remote communities have strong, independent advocates.

“The College believes the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner plays a crucial role in ensuring the right policy and support systems are developed to ensure access to high quality care for remote and rural communities,” he said.

“ACRRM has enjoyed a strong and collaborative working relationship with Professor Worley and we thank him for taking on this role with such obvious passion.”

Dr McPhee said there was “still significant work to be done” to ensure rural areas have better access to health care.

“We look forward to the Government’s announcement of Professor Worley’s successor together with the new Deputy Commissioners, and to continuing to work together to improve the health outcomes for rural and remote people across Australia.”

Professor Worley said it had been a privilege to serve the people of rural and remote Australia for the past two and a half years.

“We have affirmed the quality of rural clinicians and the collegiality, courage and creativity of rural people, even in the face of natural disasters and persisting inequities of access to health care, particularly for those who live in remote Australia,” he said.

“Location no longer needs to be a determinant of access to quality health services and care, we just need to take a fresh look to how we can support and deliver sustainable and modern health services.”


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