Opening the Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia’s CRANAplus 32nd Annual Conference today in Melbourne, Minister Nash acknowledged that it was a tough life for health professionals living and working in remote locations as it was for the many people who rely on their services.
”As a rural person I know how rewarding it is to live and work outside the big cities, however, there are special challenges in delivering health services in rural and remote Australia,” Minister Nash said.
“The facts are that, compared to metropolitan areas, rural and remote Australians generally experience high rates of death, morbidity and chronic diseases and they often have shorter life expectancy.”
“People in rural and remote communities often face higher living costs, difficulties sourcing fresh food, harsher environmental conditions and relative social isolation. This means their health is compromised and without health care professionals making the choice to live and work in these remote centres, life would be much harder for many people.”
Minister Nash congratulated CRANAplus on the work they do for their 1400 members organising and undertaking education and support, and the advocacy they provide for all health professionals working in remote Australia.
“For its part the Australian Government is investing an additional $13.4 million over the next three years to provide around 500 additional nursing and allied health scholarships, targeted to people from rural and remote areas, or in an identified area of need including primary care, aged care, mental health and Indigenous services,” she said.
“To all of the health care professionals at this conference who are out there in some of the most isolated parts of Australia doing an incredible job, well done.”