Articles on Rural health

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While politicians like Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce do the traditional photo-ops, fewer people than ever are taking on farming, which can no longer support vibrant rural and regional communities on its own. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Election 2016: the issues in non-metropolitan Australia

What are the issues facing rural and regional Australia? The challenges are many and varied – and only some have made the national political agenda – but these areas deserve better than neglect.
A woman extension worker employed by the Afar Pastoralist Development Association. Some health extension workers are separated from their families and some are unable to move. Kate Holt/Anglican Overseas Aid

Ethiopia has cracked the problem of rural health, but its workers feel stuck

In Ethiopia health extension workers in rural areas fulfill an essential service - but they feel they have no career path.
New data shows many Australians aren’t seeing their doctors because it costs too much. from shutterstock.com

Cost of doctor visits putting off rural Australians: report

In some parts of Australia, patients are twice to three times more likely to avoid seeing their GP because they can't afford it, according to figures released today.
Student doctor Livhuwani Mashanzhe ® from the University of Johannesburg takes a blood test from a patient at Kimberley train station in South Africa in this file picture. Juda Ngwenya/Reuters

A human step to equal health care in South Africa’s rural hospitals

Skilled mid level health care workers can relieve the workload of other health care workers and can help make universal health care a reality for South Africans.
If you need doctors to work in the country, you need a selection system that picks people with those values and commitments. University of Exeter/Flickr

Getting doctors to the bush depends on more than just uni places

Three features of a medical school help predict where medical students will eventually work as doctors: selection, the curriculum, and the professionalism of the newly-qualified doctors.
Physician assistants provide high-quality care and can help fill Australia’s rural doctor shortage. Dr.Farouk/Flickr

Good news for rural health: physician assistants join the workforce

At a ceremony in Townsville today, four people will graduate from James Cook University’s physician assistant program. They will be Australia’s first bachelor’s graduates in that field. This is an important…
Good teeth often correlates with good health. But one in five over-65s have lost all their teeth. m01229/Flickr

How to fill the gaps in Australia’s dental health system

An Aussie smile is an instant indicator of socioeconomic status, employability and self-esteem. It’s also a predictor of physical health. So it’s shocking that Australians’ dental health has not improved…
There is a higher density of gun ownership in country areas in Australia relative to cities. Does this explain recent homicides on farms? shutterstock

Does rural Australia have a gun problem?

The recent multiple homicide in a small Victorian township, coming barely a month after a mass shooting in rural New South Wales, may give the impression that firearm-related murders in rural Australia…
A lack of local professionals means rural health is already under pressure and the budget will only make things worse. Len Matthews/Flickr

Already fragile, rural health set to suffer more under the budget

People living in remote and rural Australia already have a shorter life expectancies and higher rates of premature deaths. Last week’s federal budget will not only make that worse, it will introduce even…
The cost of fresh fruit and vegetables soars in rural areas. Flickr/ Family O'Abé

Rural Australians are missing out on affordable fresh food

Would you pay A$9 for six mushrooms in inner-city Melbourne? Or A$4.50 for one small piece of broccoli or cauliflower in Sydney? Probably not – but this is what rural Australians are being asked to fork…
Long distances make for long response times in rural settings. robert wade

High-tech monitoring helps hard-to-reach patients

The first minutes of a medical emergency can be crucial for a patient’s chances of recovery, but what if that emergency happens in a rural setting, far away from help? Scottish ambulance crews respond…
One-third of rural patients wait 24 hours or longer for an urgent GP appointment. Image from shutterstock.com

Country practice: recruiting doctors to work in the bush

If you live far from a city, you are likely to be in poorer health than your urban counterparts; you’re also less likely to use health-care services and if you do, you’ll have to wait longer for care…
The children with the greatest level of disease also have the poorest access to care. Image from shutterstock.com

Filling the gaps in Australia’s dental workforce

Data released recently by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show the number of dentists has increased by 24% in the five years to 2011. There are now around 12,700 dentists in Australia, with…
Around 40% of farmers who died by suicide had accessed some type of professional mental health service. AAP

Farmer suicide isn’t just a mental health issue

They toiled and they fought through the shame of it - Through wilderness, flood, and drought… …The miseries suffered, unvoiced, unknown - And that’s how the land was won. Henry Lawson’s characterisations…
We need to rethink how we provide health services in rural areas. Alan Levine

Health care in rural areas: the answer is not more of the same

The recent report of the Senate Inquiry into rural health services gave tantalising glimpses of how the future of rural health services should be. But its central theme is not new. The persistent and consistent…

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