Royal Flying Doctor Service calls for $1b for rural health

Fatal injuries are 1.8 times more likely for Australians in remote areas, according to a recent report.
Fatal injuries are 1.8 times more likely for Australians in remote areas, according to a recent report. Contributed

THE federal and state governments have been urged to inject $1 billion to help prevent road deaths, injuries, poisonings and accidents in rural and regional Australia.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service has highlighted recent data that shows Australians in remote area are about 1.8 times more likely to die from an injury than residents of major cities.

In its call for more funding, the RFDS has urged state and federal governments to create a new "national injury prevention and safety promotion plan", with specific efforts to help rural and regional people.

The RFDS report released yesterday showed more than half of all road deaths occurred on rural and regional roads and that deaths among agricultural workers were nine times higher than any in other industry.

It also showed the rate of deaths from poisoning was 3.5 times higher in remote areas than cities, and children were 2.2 times more likely to be hospitalised for an injury.

While such figures included tourists travelling through regional areas of the country, the resources used to provide treatment were the same as used by locals, emphasising the need for greater resources under the RFDS's proposed strategy.

Topics:  funding government health politics royal flying doctor service

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