National Health & Hospitals Reform Commission report
The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission launched their interim report - A Healthier Future for all Australians, on 16 February 2009, with a speech at the National Press Club by the Chair of the Commission, Dr Christine Bennett.
The report is available for download on their website.
The report is the product of months of consultations, research and deliberations, and contains policy directions for reform to strengthen and improve Australia's health system to serve this and future generations of Australians.
The NRHSN were involved in the consultation process and the 2008 NRHSN Executive put in a submission to the NHHRC to ensure that students' opinions were included.
The NRHSN was referenced on page 235 of the report "The issue of support for students in rural placements, including through experience in working in a multidisciplinary environment, has been identified by the students themselves as important".
The NRHSN was also quoted on page 324 of the report, "The National Rural Health Students' Network suggests that flexible workplace models, such as outreach services need to be implemented to ensure Australians residing in such areas have equal opportunity to access the MBS and PBS."
Productivity Commission Response Paper
In November 2005, the NRHSN responded to the Productivity Commission Paper on Australia's Health Workforce. Broadly, the NRHN supported many of the recommendations made in the report, however the NRHSN response focussed on the key area's affecting the NRHSN and it's membership primarily in the areas of health workforce education and training (chapter 5) and rural and remote issues (chapter 10). In addition, the NRHSN identified several key areas it wished to emphasise and provide comment on.
This response paper is by no means indicative of the numerous issues faced by the health workforce in rural and remote Australia. It does, however, provide an overview of the key areas of concern for the NRHSN, in particular reference to the recommendations outlined in the Productivity Commission report.