NACCHO Aboriginal health : Coalition’s focus on improving Aboriginal health service access for regional Australians


“Our vision is for a sustainable system that delivers quality health outcomes for all Australians, including indigenous Australians whose health and well-being are a key priority for this government.”

Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash pictured above

THE largest rural medicine conference ever held in Australia has been told the federal government has a reform program in place to ensure better access to health services for people living in regional, rural and remote communities. 

Story Picture Brad Cooper

Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash (pictured) told 650 delegates in Cairns today that there would be more time and effort put into consulting local professionals and communities about their needs.

The centrepiece of Senator Nash’s address was a commitment to provide $40 million over the forward estimates to support up to 100 additional intern places each year in private hospitals and non-traditional settings, with priority given to positions and rotations in rural and regional areas.

She said the government would provide $13.4 million for an additional 500 scholarships for nurses and allied health professionals, and allow more rural allied health workers to take leave, on top of the 100 allied health locum placements provided each year.

“Further, the government will invest $119 million to double the Practice Incentive Program (PIP) Teaching Payment for GPs who provide teaching opportunities with an additional benefit paid to those in rural and remote areas,” Senator Nash said.

“GP practices can also apply for expansion grants for teaching infrastructure based on an equal financial commitment, starting next July.

“Training for existing doctors and nurses in rural areas is also vital to keep up their skill levels and allow them to develop as professionals.

“Our vision is for a sustainable system that delivers quality health outcomes for all Australians, including indigenous Australians whose health and well-being are a key priority for this government.”

Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Dr Sheilagh Cronin, Cloncurry, said more support for training students was one of the best ways of increasing doctor numbers in the bush.

“We know that students who spend time in rural communities to get their training and have a positive experience there are more likely to return as registrars before moving to become qualified general practitioners,” she said.

Funding grants support opportunity for NACCHO members to attend the 12th National Rural Health Conference


Funding /grant support opportunity for selected NACCHO member delegates

Application Guidelines

About the 12th National Rural Health Conference

The biennial National Rural Health Conference is the largest regular public event on the calendar of those interested in improving health and wellbeing in rural and remote Australia.

The 12th National Rural Health Conference will bring together over 1,000 delegates from across the nation: community representatives, health practitioners, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, regional development interests, researchers, local, State and Federal Government health officers, students and health service managers.

It is a major opportunity for people in the rural and remote health sector to report on how they are meeting the challenges involved in providing safe, high quality services to their communities.

 Information about the Conference and the Conference program are available at

The grants will allow selected individuals to:

  • participate as delegates in a national Conference aimed at improving the health of people living in rural and remote areas of Australia;
  • network with Conference delegates from all over Australia and communicate with them about successful programs that have been developed by and for rural and remote communities; and
  • learn about health services and programs which could be applied in their own communities and organisations.

The grants are available for:

representatives of local organisations in rural or remote areas that support:

  •  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  •  older people; and/or
  •  people with a disability and (as necessary) their carer; or
  • individuals from rural or remote areas who are in one or more of those three categories.

 The grants will cover:

  • conference registration
  • accommodation (including breakfast) for up to four nights
  • travel by air or other means – not exceedng the cost of the best value fare available at the time.
  • Costs of other meals and incidental expenses during the Conference will be the responsibility of the grant recipient. (The NRHA will be able to assist grant recipients with arrangements for Conference registration, travel and accommodation.)

To apply for a grant, applicants must confirm that:

  • they do not have access to other sources of funding (eg from an employer) to support Conference attendance;
  • they agree to attend Conference sessions and other Conference events; and
  • they are willing and have the capacity to meet any additional costs associated with attending the Conference.

Assessment of Applications

Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate their involvement with organisations and programs devoted to improving the health and wellbeing of people from rural and remote areas.

Applications will be assessed and funding recipients decided on the basis of the information contained in the application and supporting documentation by a selection group made up of:a representative of the 12 th  NRH Conference Advisory Committee,a representative of the NRHA Council; and the NRHA Executive Director or his nominee.

 Applications must be received by cob 25 February 2013. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in early March 2013.

Privacy Statement

The information provided in this application form will be used only to assess the applicant’s eligibility for funding support to attend the 12th National Rural Health Conference. Any information supplied to the National Rural Health Alliance in connection with the application will be dealt with in accordance with the National Privacy Principles of the Privacy Act 1988.