Rural health needs teeth

THE Rural Doctors Association of Australia welcomed the establishment of the Federal Government's new rural health agency, Rural and Regional Health Australia, but warned it was critical the agency had 'bite'.

The recognition of the need to improve access to healthcare for country Australians was a positive, the RDAA said as it urged the agency to 'show its teeth' in fighting for additional rural health funding within the government and bureaucracy.

RDAA has also recommended the agency to adopt a formal regime of 'rural proofing', under which existing and proposed federal health policies would be carefully assessed to ensure they are not adversely impacting on local healthcare models that are already working well in rural communities, president Dr Paul Mara, said.

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