FOR RURAL & REMOTE AUSTRALIANS
Health equality starts with communities
SECURING THE LONG TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF REMOTE MEDICAL PRACTICE
Rural & Remote Medical Services is a charity focused on the ensuring equality and equity in access to primary care for vulnerable rural, remote and Indigenous communities, and reducing the high incidence of avoidable hospitalisation, chronic illness and premature death.
We are committed to working with rural, remote and Indigenous communities to support them to maintain and sustain viable general practices that provide access to local, affordable and high quality GP and health services.
RARMS is recognised as the most successful models for maintaining and sustaining rural, remote and Indigenous community access to medical care.(ref)
As GP clinics have closed, and local rural hospital services wound back, RARMS has helped local communities to grow permanent doctor numbers and significantly increase the number of patient services over the last 20 years.
Central to our success is a unique model of Local-State-Commonwealth-Community cooperation designed to share responsibility for maintaining and sustaining rural and remote access to GP and hospital care.
Under the model:
Local government contributes GP premises and on-the-ground support;
State government contributes Visiting Medical Officer funding (VMO) or other hospital avoidance funding;
Commonwealth government - contributes funding for Medicare, regional primary health, rural medical education and training, charitable tax offset;
RARMS – operates practices and acts as the local coordinator for general practice, primary care, allied health and hospital services in rural and remote communities.
This coordinated shared investment approach has successfully ensured that rural and remote towns that were at risk of losing their local GP clinic, and all the associated health services that rely on the Clinic, could sustain both a local GP and local rural hospital service.
RARMS is working with all tiers of Government to secure recognition of the achievements of the Rural and Remote Medical Services model and an appropriate funding model for the future.