$16M boost for rural healthcare innovation in Australia


The Australian government is investing $16 million in 11 innovative healthcare projects aimed at improving health services in rural and remote areas.

This funding will support a range of new approaches to healthcare delivery, from managing chronic diseases to providing culturally safe maternity care for First Nations families.

One standout project is the Primary care Rural Integrated Multidisciplinary Health Service (PRIM-HS) model, which will be trialed in Mareeba, far north Queensland. This community-led approach, developed by the National Rural Health Alliance, aims to revolutionise healthcare delivery in rural areas where urban-based models often fall short.

Susi Tegen, Chief Executive of the Alliance, explained: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the Mareeba community to sustainably address unique local population health challenges, including workforce and lack of healthcare access and prioritise together, what they could deliver with collaboration.”

The PRIM-HS model in Mareeba will receive $1.57 million as part of the larger funding package. It’s designed to be a not-for-profit, community-based approach to delivering a range of health services tailored to local needs.

Other funded projects across Australia include:

  • Mobile primary care clinics
  • Better collaboration between doctors and pharmacists
  • Improved training for healthcare professionals
  • Outreach programs for child health and liver disease prevention

Health Minister Mark Butler stated, “Trialling new and innovative ways of providing health services is essential, so that we can find new ways to bridge the service gap and ensure people in rural and remote areas get the care they need.”

“These trials will lead to better health care and better health outcomes, while also providing important data on the most effective ways to provide health care to rural and remote communities.”

This funding is a step towards addressing the estimated $6.55 billion annual underspend in rural health. As these projects progress, the hope is that successful models can be adapted and implemented in other rural and remote areas across Australia, bringing better healthcare closer to home for millions of Australians.

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