The South Australian Government has committed $20 million over four years to develop and implement a Rural Health Workforce Strategy. As part of this strategy a Rural Medical Workforce Plan Consultation Draft has been released. Consultation on the document is open until 30 September 2019.
The lack of medical services to rural and regional councils has been highlighted as an issue of great concern to our members, particularly in the Eyre Peninsula (refer LGA OGM Agenda Item 7.4).
Some regional areas have very limited access to even basic primary health care services which results in the disruption to employment, education and family life. This can lead to poorer health outcomes for rural and regional populations.
In response, the LGA will prepare a draft submission on behalf of our members, based on LGA policy and member’s feedback.
According to the Workforce Plan, each strategy is to be assessed against its ability to recruit, train and deliver the medical workforce required to sustainably deliver rural health services. Feedback is also sought on the prioritisation and proposed time frames for the delivery of each strategy.
How to contribute
To assist in the development of the LGA submission, members are encouraged to review the Workforce Plan, noting Theme three, Objective 3b of the plan which states:
3.5 Partner with Local Governments through the LGA to maximise the personal and family supports provided to rural doctors, particularly for recruiting to challenging areas
- Support a holistic approach to doctor recruitment, considering opportunities and support for partners and families, and including social and community supports
- Consider mechanisms for doctors to receive support in areas including housing, transport costs and child care
Feedback is sought from members regarding Strategy 3.5 - Actions 1 and 2 as stated in Objective 3b.
Furthermore, feedback is sought from members, in regards to broader concerns about shortages in rural health workforce and services. Such as:
- What do you think are the key reasons for rural workforce shortages or a lack of medical services in your area?
- What are the impacts (financial and non-financial) to your council as a result of the shortages?
- How and when has your council been required to ‘fill the gap’ in this area? Please provide examples.
- What are the issues or gaps that need to be addressed?
- Any other comments?
Please direct your feedback on the plan to:
Belinda Caruana, Senior Policy Officer – Public Health
firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 8224 2051.