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Message from our CEO
Rural Health has been in the news following this week’s edition of Four Corners highlighting the challenges and poor health outcomes too often experienced by people living in rural and remote Australia accessing hospital services.  At every turn it seems rural communities are at a disadvantage. While the Commonwealth Fund ranks Australia’s health system number two in the world1, further breakdown of those statistics show that across 5 domains Australia’s health system performs least well in terms of access and equity.  In other words, we have a great health system for those who can access it and afford it.
On the subject of our lethargic economy I heard a commentator note this week that the biggest jobs growth sectors were in health and education, areas which were “totally unproductive”.  This statement highlights a very different set of values that seems to ignore the importance of a society operating from an optimal level of health and wellbeing, and the flow-on effect this has on productivity.  It is concerning that such a blinkered concept of productivity might influence the policy and resource investment decisions of government. In an OECD report in 2018, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim stated "Good health is the foundation of a country’s human capital, and no country can afford low-quality or unsafe healthcare… Low-quality care disproportionately impacts the poor, which is not only morally reprehensible, it is economically unsustainable for families and entire countries."  Until the wellbeing of every member of our society is at the core of decision-making, health access and equity for rural and remote communities, and in particular our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, will continue to languish.
While attending the 2019 PHN National Forum earlier this week I had the opportunity to hear Pat Turner, CEO of NACCHO, speak about the progress that has been made on Closing the Gap, including the signing of a formal partnership between the Coalition of Peaks and COAG in March 2019 embedding shared decision-making in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of CTG initiatives, and also the review of the National Indigenous Reform Agreement, which will be replaced by a new national agreement that will change the way Australian governments work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  These are important steps toward a just, equitable and reconciled Australia and the Coalition of Peaks are to be commended for their diligent work with governments to oversee the systemic, structural transformation required to Close the Gap.

And in other news, we can announce that we have a new staff member starting in October, a second position based on our recent recruitment drive seeking staff in policy and research. Anna Moran will take on a new role to establish and prioritise a research strategy for SARRAH that will inform and influence rural health policy and demonstrate the valuable contributions that Allied Health Professionals make towards better health outcomes for rural and remote Australians. 

We’re very happy to welcome Anna to the SARRAH team.

SARRAH is Recruiting

We are looking for an Allied Health Professional with experience in project management to manage the Allied Health Rural Generalist Workforce and Education Scheme (AHRGWES).

AHRGWES seeks to address the maldistribution of the allied health workforce and improve access to allied health services in rural and remote communities.  It contributes to the Commonwealth Department of Health’s Rural Health Workforce initiatives by providing targeted supports for the allied health workforce through the implementation of the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway (AHRGP).

The AHRGWES program seeks to meet the following objectives:

  • To establish forty (40) new Allied Health Rural Generalist trainee positions nationally over two years.
  • To engage service providers in multiple sectors (health, disability, private sector) to take up rural generalist traineeships.
  • To facilitate an accreditation mechanism for the Allied Health Rural Generalist program coursework, working with key stakeholders.
  • To establish the requisite organisational structure and intellectual capital to sustain the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway beyond the life of the pilot.
If you would like to find out more about the role or submit an application please click here.

Seeking your support: Coalition of Peaks Online Survey on Closing the Gap - have your say!

The Coalition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peak Organisations (Coalition of Peaks), together with Australian governments, want to hear your views on what is needed to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

Face to face meetings are being held, as well as discussions on the phone and the online survey. A report on what is said will be prepared by the Coalition of Peaks, to be provided to governments and made public. The report will help finalise the new National Agreement.  

There is a discussion booklet that has background information on Closing the Gap and sets out what will be talked about in the survey. You can also look at an illustrated story of what the survey is about.

The survey will take a little bit of time to complete. To help you prepare your answers, you can look at a full copy here. 

The survey can be accessed here:, and closes at 5pm on October 25, 2019.
2019 report card on the welfare of Australians released
Australia’s welfare 2019: data insights presents an overview of the welfare data landscape and explores selected welfare topics including intergenerational disadvantage, income support, future of work, disability services, elder abuse and child wellbeing in 8 original articles. Australia’s welfare 2019 is the 14th biennial welfare report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Other News

Clinical trials to combat reproductive cancers - An investment of up to $15 million in targeted clinical trials to improve treatments and discover cures for reproductive and gynaecological cancers such as ovarian, cervical and fallopian cancer. 

The ‘Health Hazard’ episode of Four Corners brought to life recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) showing for every 100,000 people, there are 91.6 avoidable deaths in major cities, compared with 248.7 avoidable deaths in very remote parts of the country.

New Parliamentary Inquiry: Allergies and anaphylaxis under the microscope - The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport has commenced an inquiry into allergies and anaphylaxis in Australia.

Easing the burden of prostate cancer - Prostate Cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men, with around 19,500 men in Australia being diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.

First frailty map highlights service need - An online interactive map, which shows for the first time where Australia's frail and pre-frail people live today and in the future, will help plan services for healthy ageing. The frailty web map has been developed by researchers at the University of Adelaide's NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing.

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

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. 

Radiographer Professional 2 Remuneration Package Range $97,285 - $116,335 (comprising salary $84,101 - $100,856 superannuation, leave loading and the value of 2 weeks extra recreation leave). In addition to above Package Range professional development allowances and salary sacrifice provisions.
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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