Evidence but no outcomes: As the Budget is bedded down the National Rural Health Alliance’s annual conference early next month will consider; “the rural and remote health policy impasse: why hasn’t research evidence generated policies to improve rural and remote health services?”
Good question, one which the Gillespie Review of rural medical training places, which has never emerged from the bureaucracy, might have addressed. Perhaps Rural Health Minister Bridget McKenzie will have something to say, if she accepts the Alliance’s invitation to speak.
Unless of course announcements to be made, or not made, in the budget, notably about funding for the proposed Murray Darling Medical School, will preclude her saying anything substantive.
Three Rivers to complement or console: Charles Sturt U has pushed for the MDMS for years but yesterday it re-announced the Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health. Funded by the feds, Three Rivers (Murray, Darling, Murrumbidgee) was announced last year to expand and enhance nursing, midwifery, allied health and dental services in the region. And now lead uni CSU, with partners Notre Dame Australia, Western Sydney U and UNSW have signed an MOU that they agree to doing what the department was established to accomplish. CSU says this has nothing to do with the MDMS bid but the other universities involved have medical schools, which would give the government an out if it there is no money for the MDMS in the Budget.