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Friday 31 August 2018 | ISSUE 11

The Roundtable

On Friday 24th August, SARRAH President Rob Curry attended the Rural Health Minister’s Roundtable discussions in Canberra.  Sadly the Minister, Bridget McKenzie, was unable to attend the meeting due the momentous political events of that day, so the meeting was chaired by Professor Paul Worley, the National Rural Health Commissioner.

The Roundtable is made up of the Chairs of key national representative health groups with an interest in rural and remote health.  They contribute to and lead discussions at the Roundtable.  At the meeting, participants called for a strategic rural health plan to be developed to bring together the fragmented parts of the health system that currently block or limit effective health care and service parity for rural and remote Australians.  Reference was made to the previous Strategic Rural Health Framework developed back in 2010-11 as being a worthwhile model to consider.

Much of the Roundtable discussions focused on progress with the development a National Medical Rural Generalist Pathway linked to general practice.  However, Rob and other participants drew attention to work currently underway on the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway and the need for more Commonwealth support to establish this as a viable nation program to improve rural allied health recruitment and retention and foster improved service delivery.  The concept seems to have broad support amongst stakeholder colleagues, and ongoing efforts need to be made to gain practical Commonwealth engagement on the Program.

Another issue raised by Rob was the need now for more Commonwealth interest in the state of rural/remote allied health service provision, particularly in relation to market failure in many areas for private allied health services, and the consequences this has for meeting community needs in chronic disease management, in disability and in aged care.  Allied health workforce shortages mean that many of the Commonwealth’s major new health initiatives, such as the NDIS, My Aged Care, and the Medicare chronic disease items are significantly under-subscribed in remoter areas despite pressing needs for services. 
Other agenda items included the need for Drug and Alcohol services and the current challenges created by the rural drought and its impact on rural communities and farmers.  Both of these issues bear relationship to allied health services and their availability in rural areas.

SARRAH will continue to work with its members to advocate for and deliver change in these areas. SARRAH also looks forward to attending the next Ministerial Roundtable discussion and seeing progress on these key priorities. It is worth noting that despite the Rural Health Minister having to miss this meeting, she will be in attendance at the SARRAH Conference in Darwin to engage with our membership. 

Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway
2019 Level 2 intake open soon!

The Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway offers a one year Diploma for allied health professionals who have been practicing for 2-3 years or more and are seeking to develop their skills and knowledge.  If you are an Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist, Radiographer, Nutritionist or Dietitian, Podiatrist, Physiotherapist or Speech Pathologist and would like more information, click here for more details.

About the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway
The Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway is a national strategy led by the Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) and developed by a collaboration led by the Department of Queensland Health. This two-level, university delivered program encompasses rural generalist practice development for seven professions: medical imaging, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry and speech pathology. 
Read More

Join the SARRAH Community

Individuals and organisations are invited to join our community and help shape future policy reform to support allied health professionals working in the isolated areas of Australia.

SARRAH welcomes you into our ever expanding network of members and contributors.

Why you should join.   |   Join today.

DDWMPHN Non-Executive Director Recruitment

The Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN is seeking experienced Non-Executive Directors to join its board.

About the PHN
The charter, as directed by the Federal Government, is to ensure that all people living in the region, especially marginalised or vulnerable groups, have access to a responsive, integrated and high quality primary health services.

Please click on the following links for more details.
Board Director Advertisement
Position Description
Application e-form

Many ways to 'have your say'

As a benefit of membership, SARRAH members are invited to contribute to improved health outcomes through advocacy and policy development, and provide input to SARRAH to help shape policy priorities and strategic direction.

Delegates and members attending the 2018 SARRAH national conference in Darwin from 12- 14 September, 2018 as well as members following online are invited to provide feedback and recommendations and participate in shaping SARRAH’s agenda and having their say through:
  • Emails to
  • Twitter #2018SARRAHconference
  • Boards at the conference to pin notes
  • A contribution box to drop suggestions and contributions
  • Conference app
  • Joining the closing session on Friday, 14 Sept from 3:45pm-4:30pm for an engaging discussion, wrap up of the 2018 conference and future directions of SARRAH
Join SARRAH as an individual or student member to help improve health outcomes for rural and remote communities!
Register for the conference

In Other News...

Rural Mental Health podcast creates positive waves
A podcast series designed to encourage rural communities talk about mental health has been recognised for its impact. Read more.

Rural health monitoring: the benefits of keeping in touch
Remote health monitoring is growing in popularity as both patients and healthcare professionals want health to be monitored outside of clinical settings. How does the technology work, and how could it improve outcomes?  Read more.

Free meningococcal ACWY vaccine is now available for all children aged 1-19 years in Darwin/Palmerston and rural areas
Free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine is now available for all children aged 1-19 years in the Darwin/ Palmerston and rural areas. In Term 3 and 4 of 2018, free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine will be offered to all Darwin and Palmerston students in Year 9-12 at school, information and consent forms will be sent home to eligible students. Vaccines are available from Community Care Centres - Casuarina and Palmerston, Danila Dilba or GP practices (although a consultation fee may apply). Read more.

What is visual snow?
Dave wasn’t going crazy, his fuzzy vision was caused by ‘visual snow’. Little is known about the condition, which is soon to be subject of a Monash University Study.  Read more.

What is involved in new hepatitis C treatment?
Treatment for hepatitis C changed in recent years. Professor Greg Dore explains what’s involved in taking the new medicines to cure hepatitis C. Watch the video.

Events and Conferences

Job Opportunities

SARRAH exists so that rural and remote Australian communities have allied health services that support equitable and sustainable health and well-being. SARRAH is also nationally recognised as the peak body representing rural and remote allied health professionals (AHPs) working in the public and private sector. SARRAH develops and provides services for AHPs to confidently and competently carry out their professional duties in providing a range of clinical and health education services to people who reside in these settings.
Partner with SARRAH to make the changes people living in rural and remove Australia need. If you donate today, you can be part of SARRAH's work and strengthening rural communities by ensuring quality health services are available to all Australians, wherever they live.
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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