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The importance of universal health care and primary health care for rural and remote Australians

  • Year: 2007
  • Author: Menadue, John
  • Journal Name: 9th National Rural Health Conference
  • Publisher: National Rural Health Alliance
  • Published Location: Deakin West, ACT
  • Country: Australia

People living in rural and remote Australia, and particularly Indigenous Australians, have much poorer health and inferior health services than other Australians. This presentation briefly explores the issues of an ageing rural population and its associated health demands, the incidence of depression, lack of access to health care and difficulties in retaining health care professionals in rural areas. It then considers a number of proposals that may improve the situation, including: an emphasis on universal health care system rather than increasing reliance on private health insurance; an accessible primary health care system; structural changes to the health care workforce; effective engagement of country people in decisions affecting health priorities in their local area; and the development of an integrated state-wide health plan.

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