ELECTION 2016: Occupational Therapy Australia welcomes Rural Health Commissioner announcement

ELECTION 2016 UPDATE: FRIDAY 24 JUNE 2016

Occupational Therapy Australia welcomes this morning’s announcement from Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Development, Regional Communications and Rural Health, that if re-elected a Turnbull Government will appoint a National Rural Health Commissioner.

Australia’s first ever Rural Health Commissioner will be appointed to lead the development of a National Rural Generalist Pathway to address rural health’s biggest issue: lack of medical professionals in rural, regional and remote areas.

The Minister said The Commissioner will also look to utilise and support Australia's allied health workforce.

“The Commissioner will look at all aspects of the rural health workforce and consider how the allied health workforce can be developed and resourced to support rural communities,” said Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Development, Regional Communications and Rural Health.

This morning Occupational Therapy Australia joined with other allied health professionals in welcoming the news.

“This is a wonderful announcement for rural and remote Australians,” said Rachel Norris, CEO of Occupational Therapy Australia.

“Developing Australia’s rural and remote medical and allied health workforce is key to ensuring all Australians receive the health and hospital services they need,” she said.

Allied Health Professions Australia CEO Lin Oke also welcomed the announcement and the Government’s commitment to developing Australia's rural and remote health workforce.

“There are over 160,000 different allied health professionals in Australia. Many of them work in rural and remote communities and have a vital role ensuring rural and remote Australians are receiving the health and medical services they need,” she said.

“It's hoped this investment will also go a long way to ensuring Australia’s health workforce remains culturally sensitive in the way health services are delivered for Australia’s Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Communities,” Ms Oke said.

MEDIA RELEASE

Election 2016 Rural Health Commissioner announcement: Occupational Therapy Australia/AHPA joint media release [PDF 47KB]

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