Coordinated information for regional, rural health
The agency, Rural and Regional Health Australia, is designed as a healthcare ‘entry point’ with a free telephone line and a website giving information on available services.
“Without information, consumers can’t access government services,” rural independent MP Tony Windsor said in a statement.
Health Minister Nicola Roxon said that previously “information about regional health and aged care programs has been difficult to obtain [so] this new approach will make all that easier”.
The agency will be funded internally by the Department of Health and Ageing.
The new body will also be responsible for overseeing rural health policy development and act as an advocate within government to ensure health programs like telehealth, regional cancer centres and workforce initiatives reach regional and rural Australians.
Meanwhile, a similar body targeting Indigenous health has also been