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Message from CEO
The SARRAH team has a new member!
We are very pleased to welcome Allan Groth to SARRAH as our new Policy and Advocacy Officer.  Allan will be known to many of you through his previous work as Chief Operations Officer with IAHA.  While taking on a part-time role with SARRAH he will continue to work with IAHA on a range of projects.  Allan brings a wealth of experience in health workforce, education and broader social policy and program management in government and non-for-profit sectors.  I’m sure you will enjoy engaging with Allan through the development of SARRAH’s submissions and policy statements, beginning with our submission to the Joint Standing Committee of the NDIS – enquiry into NDIS planning. Welcome aboard, Allan!
Last week, as I sat on the beach reflecting on the proceedings from last month’s successful National Allied Health Conference, I was reminded of the plethora of research that demonstrates the effectiveness of allied health interventions.  Professor Kathy Refshauge spoke about this in her keynote presentation on the value of allied health.  In the context of rural health, SARRAH works to ensure that governments understand the need to invest in better access to allied health services to reduce the disparity in health outcomes for people living in rural and remote Australia.  But this investment needs to be multipronged to be effective, as simply creating more allied health positions is unlikely to overcome the issues associated with workforce maldistribution.

So following Kathy Refshauge’s lead, are we asking the right questions? As a sector are we focused on the things that are going to make a difference to rural and remote communities?

In an article published earlier this year1 John Wakerman and John S Humphreys describe some evidence-based elements of a robust primary health care system necessary for health parity in rural and remote Australia, including the development of rural health worker training pipelines, accessible core primary health care services, effective governance and administration, and adequate physical infrastructure.  These elements are readily applicable to the allied health sector.  Based on Wakerman and Humphreys’ key pillars of a national rural and remote strategy, the policy implications for the allied health sector could be:
  1. Integrated rural training pipelines for the allied health professions, together with an effective retention strategy
  2. Allied health sector engagement around an agreed set of core primary health care services that all rural communities should be able to access locally, such as cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, diabetes education and mental health services, to name a few.
  3. Effective funding that makes provision for adequate workforce support, good governance and leadership within the allied health sector
  4. Efficient funding mechanisms for allied health services so that complex clients can access multiple funding streams seamlessly
  5. Services that are planned and co-designed with local communities for sustainability
 If the allied health sector is to fully participate in an effective rural health strategy, we need to move away from a deficiency-based mode of thinking to one of collaborative, team-based effort that optimises our combined skills for the benefit of rural communities.  Having a shared understand of what is needed for rural communities to achieve health parity is a critical first step.
1 Wakerman J and Humphrey JS “Better health in the bush”: why we urgently need a national rural and remote health strategy. Med J Aust 2019; 210(5): doi: 10.5694/mja2.50041

Kapiolani Park Beach

SARRAH welcomes our first International Member (New Zealand)

Jane George is Associate Director of Allied Health for the West Coast District Health Board, on the South Island of New Zealand. She is a registered Social Worker, and has practiced in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Since commencing her role at the DHB in 2015 Jane has regularly participated in SARRAH events including presenting at the 2016 conference in Port Lincoln.  She is a member of the SARRAH hosted Post Graduate Rural Generalist Pathway Governance Group, and a Calderdale Facilitator.

Jane's research interests are centred on improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations in rural settings, and her doctoral research aims to understand what matters to Allied Health Professionals considering or already working rurally. Jane recently published an article in the Rural and Remote Health Journal considering what New Zealand AHPs can learn from the work already undertaken in Australia and by other professions to strengthen recruitment and retention

Jane recently undertook a secondment to the Ministry of Health where she led the national project on strengthening the rural health workforce into the future. Jane is a Member of the Australasian College of Health Management, the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (MANZASW) and Health Informatics New Zealand (HINZ).

Jane is very proud to be our first international member and looks forward to encouraging her rurally focused colleagues in New Zealand to take up membership as well.

Welcome Jane from everyone at SARRAH


Australian Government Department Of Veterans Affairs

Allied health treatment cycle

From 1 October 2019, referrals for DVA clients to allied health services will be valid for up to 12 sessions or a year, whichever ends first.

This new 'treatment cycle' is being introduced to promote quality clinical care for veterans so they have the best possible prospects for living a healthy life. The treatment cycle places the client at the centre of care and the general practitioner (GP) as the care coordinator. It provides a framework for better coordination and communication between GPs, allied health providers and clients. These arrangements ensure health care and allied health treatment is the most appropriate for the client's needs.

Treatment Cycle Information leaflets provide targeted information for the following groups:

Nominations for the 2019 Administrator’s Medals in Primary Health Care

Nominations close Friday 13 September.
Do you know an individual, a team, or a whole of practice/health service that is improving health outcomes in the Northern Territory?

Applications for Round 1 of the 2019-20 Health Workforce Scholarship Program are now open
RDWA invites eligible health professionals working in rural and remote private practice in South Australia to apply for a grant of up to $10,000 through the Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP). More information, including eligibility criteria and the online application form, can be accessed via the RDWA Website.

Other News

Picture of the experiences of Australians living with disability - The diverse experiences of more than 4 million Australians living with disability is the subject of a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The report, People with disability in Australia, brings together information from a range of major data sources to enhance the picture of what is known about people with disability in Australia.

Medicare bulk billing at record level - Patients made 136.5 million bulk billed GP visits in 2018-19, up 3.3 million on the previous financial year.

More targeted, less toxic: the golden future of cancer treatment - Researchers have engineered gold-based molecules that target cancer cells and leave healthy cells unharmed, in a critical step towards precision cancer drugs with fewer toxic side effects.

Palliative Care Australia has updated their position statement on voluntary assisted dying for the first time since 2016, in light of the legislative change in Victoria and the current parliamentary action on the issue in other jurisdictions.
Upcoming Events & Conferences
CRANAplus 37th Conference
18-20 September - Hunter Valley, NSW

IAHA 2019 National Conference
23 - 25 September - Darwin, NT

Innovations in Cancer Treatment and Care Conference

26 September - Sydney, NSW

2019 Conference Program now Available

For information on other upcoming events please visit our website
Current Job Vacancies

Research Leadership and Development Opportunities
The Centre for Rural and Remote Health (CRRH), James Cook University (JCU) is part of a national network of university departments of rural health head quartered in Mount Isa, with nodes in Cloncurry, Longreach and Weipa. We now have three exciting opportunities to join our multi-disciplinary team.

Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapist The Children’s Development Team in Alice Springs is seeking an experienced and enthusiastic paediatric occupational therapist to join our friendly and supportive multidisciplinary team. 

Clinical Senior Occupational Therapist
Based in Mount Gambier, you will enjoy a great work life balance within an environment that offers support, family flexibility and excellent professional development opportunities. A multi-varied role where you will see a diverse caseload, you will be an experienced and highly competent clinician who can apply expertise in the delivery of Occupational Therapy services within a multidisciplinary context.
Copyright © 2018 Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH). All rights reserved.

Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health
Unit 4, 17 Napier Close, Deakin, ACT, 2600

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