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Showing posts with label Rural Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rural Health. Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Free online clinical training for remote area Indigenous health.

The Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) has developed a suite of online clinical training modules designed especially for health professionals working in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory (NT).

The RAHC Introduction to Remote Health Practice Program (online) has been developed as a training resource to provide timely, high quality, orientation and learning materials for RAHC health professionals preparing to work in remote health clinics and services.

The modules currently available are:

  • Introduction to Indigenous Health
  • Communication and Education
  • Chronic Conditions Management
  • Mental Health
  • Paediatrics
  • Maternity
  • Major Incident Management
  • Managing Medical Emergencies
  • Trachoma
  • Ear Health
  • Oral Health
  • Primary Eye Care Checks(New)
  • Eye Health and Diabetes(New)

These modules are available to anyone interested in remote and Indigenous health. Health professionals considering a placement with RAHC or any involvement in remote and Indigenous health are especially encouraged to pursue them.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

6th Australian Rural & Remote Mental Health Symposium

The 6th Australian Rural Remote Mental Health Symposium will be held in Albury on 12-14 November, 2014. The conference themes are :

  • * What is the lived experience of the practitioner in a rural or remote setting?
  • * How can the voice of these practitioners be heard when decisions are made?
  • * Can we ensure that rural and remote practice is considered in the distribution of resources?
  • * In what ways can a practitioner be an effective voice for consumers located in rural and remote settings?
  • * What are the barriers and enablers in attaining training for continued professional development points in rural and remote Australia?
  • * Rural practitioners experience of the new graduate. Work ready or not?

    The symposium will include keynote speakers, concurrent sessions and workshops that develop skills related specifically to the mental health needs of our rural and remote communities, and ways to effectively prepare mental and other health professionals to meet future challenges.

    For further details visit the Symposium website.

    Friday, 29 November 2013

    A snapshot of poverty in rural and regional Australia.

    The National Rural Health Alliance and Australian Council of Social Service have released a joint report, A snapshot of poverty in rural and regional Australia.

    The report says that people who live in poverty in rural and regional Australia face additional burdens, including reduced access to health services, transport difficulties, inadequate local infrastructure, and vulnerability to drought and other natural hazards. Limited employment opportunities, combined with the centralisation of services, are major causes of rural and remote poverty.

    Other resources

    The 'double whammy' of being poor in a rural area

    Thursday, 17 October 2013

    Chronic kidney disease: regional variation in Australia (AIHW)

    Chronic kidney disease is a common and serious problem in Australia and its management can be resource intensive, particularly for the most severe form of the disease: end-stage kidney disease.

    Rates of chronic kidney disease vary by geographic location. Chronic kidney disease: regional variation in Australia shows:

    - people from Remote and very remote areas were 2.2 times more likely to die from chronic kidney disease than people from Major cities.
    - people from Very remote areas were at least 4 times more likely to start kidney replacement therapy (dialysis or kidney transplant) than people from non-remote areas.

    The report also investigates the likelihood of patients moving while receiving kidney replacement therapy (dialysis or kidney transplantation) for end-stage kidney disease. More than half (57%) of patients who lived in Very remote areas at the start of their first treatment changed to less remote areas during their first year of treatment.

    Media release

    Tuesday, 1 October 2013

    Remote Australia Online Database (Ninti One)

    Remote Australia Online is a free online platform that delivers authoritative research on topics that impact on remote Australia region and its people, including education and its pathways, policy, business, social and cultural welfare, infrastructure, communication and natural resource management.

    Remote Australia Online is for those who want to delve deeper into the complexities of remote Australia: its intricate and interconnected networks, the geographical, social, cultural and environmental influences, its opportunities, challenges, and to understand just what makes this unique region tick.

    The keyword-searchable database contains a diverse range of material, including links to much hard-to-get report and conference material.

    Monday, 30 September 2013

    Access all areas: new solutions for GP shortages in rural Australia

    More than a million Australians living in rural and remote areas are denied the access to basic medical care that most city dwellers take for granted. In 7 areas containing 1 in 20 Australians, limited access to GPs is imposing severe costs on individuals, doctors and the health system. The areas include Tamworth, Goulburn and Mount Isa, as well as the Northern Territory and most of Western Australia.

    The shortage of GPs is not just unfair, it is irrational. People in rural areas with low access to GPs are more likely than other Australians to face serious health risks. An inability to get care is likely to cost the taxpayer much more in the long-run than the cost of the changes proposed in this report.

    An investment of around $30 million a year would go a long way towards solving Australia's worst shortages. The funds would support a greater role for pharmacists, especially in providing repeat prescriptions and vaccinations, and the introduction of a new health worker, the physician assistant, to expand care in remote areas. Without compromising quality and safety, the changes would free up GPs to do the complex work they are trained to do. The health benefits generated by the reform could reduce the cost of hospital visits by an amount equivalent to the $30 million investment.

    For decades, successive government policies have failed to fix the problem. At current rates of improvement it would take more than 65 years for very remote parts of Australia to catch up to the levels of GP services that big cities have today.

    Access all areas: new solutions for GP shortages in rural Australia by Stephen Duckett and Peter Breadon proposes a relatively cheap and straightforward solution that could be in place within 5 years, if policymakers are willing to adopt new responses to an old problem.

    Tuesday, 3 September 2013

    Workshops aim to raise awareness of stress (Rural Mental Health)

    Rural counsellor Lynn Stuart helps bush people battling depression or suicidal thoughts.
    The experienced local mental health worker is running a series of workshops supported by the Southern Downs Regional Council across the region focused on helping rural people affected by the floods.

    She said the series aims to raise awareness about how disaster and subsequent stress can trigger mental illness and suicidal behaviour.

    Thursday, 25 July 2013

    2013 PHC Research Conference presentations now available on-line

    Presentations from the recent 2013 PHC Research Conference, Allies for better primary health care, are now available. Over 150 of the 250 presentations are shared on-line. The keynote speakers' presentations have been videoed for delayed streaming, the concurrent sessions are presented in synchronised audio and slides and posters can be viewed in PDF.

    This conference contains several presentations on Indigenous health, and several on rural primary health care. Other conference themes included migrant & refugee healh, preventive health, mental health services and healthy ageing.

    Tuesday, 9 July 2013

    Rural and Remote Health Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategy

    There is a big divide between the health of metropolitan Australia and that of Australians living in remote and rural areas. There is also a divide in terms of the health services available. In essence, if you live in rural or remote Australia your health will on average be poorer, and your access to health services more limited.

    The Rural and Remote Health Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategy outlines multiple strategies that, if implemented, will redress this health and health workforce imbalance.

    The strategy focuses on key areas including: capacity and skills development, leadership, workforce policy and planning, workforce funding and regulation, and workforce reform targetted at more effective, efficient and accessible service delivery.

    The RRHWIR strategy complements the National Health Workforce Innovation and Reform Strategic Framework for Action 2011-2015, the National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health 2012 and the findings of Health Workforce 2025 Doctors, Nurses and Midwives.


    Monday, 8 July 2013

    Proceedings of 12th National Rural Health Conference

    The full proceedings of the 12th National Rural Health Conference are now available. They include the transcript and streaming of all Keynote Addresses, papers and streaming for concurrent speakers in streams 1 to 4, plus papers from other concurrent sessions, posters, and with ancillary information such as the Communiqué, priority recommendations, presenters' bios and a photo album.

    Thursday, 20 June 2013

    New research examines the stresses of FIFO workforce

    Lifeline WA, in partnership with specialist vehicle hire company Raw Hire, Australian Institute of Management WA and Edith Cowan University's The Sellenger Centre, has launched a ground-breaking research study that assessed the relationship between mental health and fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in-drive-out (DIDO) work practices.

    With a sample size of 924 respondents, the Lifeline WA research study is one of the largest ever in this field of research in Australia and provides valuable insights to the benefits and challenges of this relatively new and growing work practice, including the ways in which workers cope with these challenges.

    The research found that FIFO workers are predominantly unaware of and unlikely to make use of any of the modes of mental health information and services, but rather to withdraw emotionally and to ignore personal needs.

    Stigma is the main barrier to help-seeking, with the principal reason workers do not reach out for assistance being the fear of appearing to be "soft", weak or unable to cope. The other main barrier is structural, being the lack of service accessibility onsite and the lack of access to services from remote sites, including the lack of mobile phone coverage and/or internet access.

    The recommendations aim to address the help-seeking barriers and provide supports to maintain and enhance the emotional wellbeing and mental health of the FIFO and DIDO workforce.

    Executive summary

    Main Report

    Thursday, 30 May 2013

    The dental health of children attending a school dental service, with a focus on remoteness (AIHW)

    The dental health of children attending a school dental service, with a focus on remoteness: Child Dental Health Survey Australia 2009 describes the dental health of Australian children examined by school dental service staff in 2009 and provides insights into the dental health of rural children. Dental decay was relatively common, with around half of children examined having a history of decay. Children in Regional and Remote areas were at increased risk of dental decay in their baby teeth compared with those in Major cities.

    Media release

    Tuesday, 28 May 2013

    The Mason Review of Australian Government Health Workforce Programs

    Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek has released the final report of the independent review into Australian Government's health workforce programs. The Mason Review of Australian Government Health Workforce Programs makes 87 recommendations covering Commonwealth programs that target the medical, dental, allied health, nursing and midwifery and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforces.

    "I commissioned this review of our health workforce programs to ensure that Australian communities have access to a highly qualified health workforce now and into the future," Ms Plibersek said. "As a first step in responding to the review, I have accepted the report's recommendations to provide a more advanced system for classifying rural locations and areas of workforce need to determine eligibility for support and funding through many Commonwealth workforce programs."

    Press release

    Friday, 24 May 2013

    What primary health care services should residents of rural and remote Australia be able to access ?

    "The implementation of primary health care (PHC) may well be one of the most significant systemic and ideological health reforms of modern times. Countries with stronger PHC systems have demonstrably more efficient, effective, and equitable health care. Primary health care can be considered a philosophy, an approach to the delivery and development of services and first contact health services. It is based on a social, rather than biomedical, model of health, with accessibility to and affordability of service as primary objectives."

    That is the powerful opening statement to a new systematic review investigating what are the core primary health care services that Australians living in rural and remote areas should be able to access.

    The review raises the tantalising question: if these core services can be identified, will this provide some obligation on funders to ensure they are available and accessible?

    Summary of review

    Thursday, 23 May 2013

    Too many mental issues untreated in bush, says study

    Nearly half of people likely to have a serious mental health disorder in rural NSW are not seeking professional help, a large-scale study has revealed. The study also suggests unemployment, disability and social isolation are most likely to lead to mental health problems in the bush. As a group, health workers were almost as likely as farmers to have mental disorders (29% compared with 34%), the Australian Rural Mental Health Cohort Study of more than 2600 adults in rural and remote NSW found. But unemployed people (69%) and those permanently unable to work (57%) had the highest incidence of probable mental disorder.

    While past efforts have rightly focused on farming communities, more attention needs to be paid to people ''without a voice'' who are socially isolated, perhaps because of disability or unemployment, said Associate Professor David Perkins, Director of the Broken Hill Centre for Remote Health Research and one of the study's authors.

    Too many mental issues untreated in bush, says study (Sydney Morning Herald)

    Report on Medicare Locals' coordination of care in rural areas

    A report has been published on some of the key issues that will enable Medicare Locals to deal with the particular challenges they face in rural and remote areas. The report is from a Rural Policy Forum held on 7 April in conjunction with the 12th National Rural Health Conference in Adelaide.

    The Forum confirmed the absolutely critical need to involve the community and all service providers in the planning and delivery of rural and remote health services. There must also be flexibility in service models and funding arrangements.

    Participants agreed about the important role of Medicare Locals and their future, and the need for increased certainty of funding for a range of programs. The need to reduce administrative and reporting burdens was also seen as a priority.

    Report summary

    Media release

    Friday, 10 May 2013

    Bathurst mental health facility to provide more help for local youth

    Youth mental health services in the Bathurst region will be greatly improved following the opening of a state-of-the-art child and adolescent mental health facility by the Minister for Mental Health, Kevin Humphries. Housed in the recently refurbished former dental clinic building on the grounds of the Bathurst Hospital, the "Willows" youth mental health facility will ensure more help is available for young people in the Bathurst region with a mental health issue.

    "The $250,000 refurbishment and expansion of the existing facility will ensure more space is available to provide additional support and activities aimed at improving the social and emotional wellbeing of children, teenagers and their families," Mr Humphries said. "The new service at Willows will offer community based assessment and treatment options close to home that will aim to intervene as early as possible to provide the best possible recovery outcomes for young people in the Bathurst community."

    Press release

    Wednesday, 24 April 2013

    National Rural Health Conference releases priority recommendations

    The 17 priority recommendations from the 12th National Rural Health Conference held this week in Adelaide cover many of the most important issues facing the rural and remote health sector. Advocates for the people of rural and remote Australia, including the NRHA, will consider all of the proposals and promote their adoption - especially in the lead-up to the September Election.

    The 17 recommendations fall into 4 thematic groups. The first 6 relate to physical and soft infrastructure for health and health-related services. The second 6 relate to specific clinical service areas, including child health and aged care. Topics covered include broadband, a national arts and health framework, maternity and early childhood care, telehealth and Indigenous health.

    Recommendations & communique

    Press release

    Thursday, 4 April 2013

    Minister appoints Advisory Committee for Rural Health

    Health Minister Jillian Skinner last week announced the appointment of members to the NSW Government's first Rural Health Advisory Committee. Mrs Skinner said the 20-member Ministerial Advisory Committee for Rural Health will advise her on ways to improve patient care in rural NSW.

    "Since coming to Government, the NSW Liberals & Nationals have made their commitment to rural health clear : we want to ensure patients in our country areas receive quality care, closer to home," Mrs Skinner said. "My decision to create a Ministerial Advisory Committee for Rural Health forms part of this commitment." Mrs Skinner said the 20 members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Rural Health had a wide range of experience in medicine, nursing, allied health, academia, administration and management.

    The committee will be co-chaired by Lismore surgeon Associate Professor Austin Curtin and the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health, Melinda Pavey, who will work with committee members to develop strategies to enhance health services in rural and regional NSW. Western NSW is well represented by Scott McLachlan (CEO-WNSWLHD), Dr. Robin Williams (Chair WNSWLHD), Assoc. Professor David Perkins (Broken Hill Centre for Remote Health Research) and Val Keed (Peak Hill AMS).

    Ministerial press release

    Terms of reference

    Membership of Committee list

    Tuesday, 26 March 2013

    Geographic distribution of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease hospitalisations in Australia: 2007-08 to 2009-10 (AIHW)

    Geographic distribution of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease hospitalisations in Australia: 2007-08 to 2009-10 investigates how hospitalisation rates for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) vary across Australia. Maps in the report show higher hospitalisation rates for both asthma and COPD in inland and rural areas of Australia. Socioeconomic status, remoteness and the proportion of the population that identifies as Indigenous all have a significant association with the hospitalisation rates for asthma and COPD by area.

    Media release