Skip to content
CharitiesAidWelfare, Medical Health Aged Care

Community-led innovation to revolutionise healthcare access in rural Australia

National Rural Health Alliance 2 mins read

The National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) is delighted that the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Mark Butler, has today announced $16 million for innovative healthcare delivery trials through 11 innovative healthcare projects in rural and remote Australia.


One of the trial projects funded today will provide an opportunity to revolutionise healthcare delivery in rural Australia through a model first proposed by the Alliance and developed with communities, implemented in conjunction with Mareeba, far north Queensland with a population of approximately 12,000 people, and the Mareeba Community’s Family Healthcare (MCFHC).


This community adds to Australia’s economy by producing mangoes, sugar cane, avocados, bananas, lychees, vegetables, pineapples, cashews, cotton, tea tree oil, coffee, beef cattle and chicken meat.


“We are pleased that the Minister sees the opportunity our proposed Primary care Rural Integrated Multidisciplinary Health Service (PRIM-HS) model will provide for rural communities, where the urban-based models do not work,” said the Alliance Chief Executive Susi Tegen.


The PRIM-HS model will be trialled for the first time at MCFHC under a $1.57 million grant. This is a community of volunteers who are passionate about their community having access to health services. They believe that as Australians living in the country, they deserve the same access to healthcare urban Australians do. They maintain that they can come up with local solutions by working with health clinicians, local government, industry, community and health stakeholders. 


“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 grant also provides the ideal opportunity to lead the work recognised in the National Health Reform Agreement review process as a way forward for delivering primary health care in rural locations,” said Ms Tegen.


The PRIM-HS model, which is a community-led and co-designed model, has been a long-term call of the Alliance for community-based, not-for-profit organisations to deliver multidisciplinary primary health care services that meet the specific health and wellbeing needs of communities.


“We are committed to putting all our strength and expertise into this trial program by mentoring and providing support at a local level. We will be working with MCFHC in the overarching PRIM-HS implementation and evaluation, facilitate the governance model and background planning, as well as sharing learnings and findings with other primary healthcare entities across Australia,” Ms Tegen said.

“With evidence of a $6.55 billion annual underspend in rural health, the Alliance is pleased to see that steps are being taken in the right direction to improve the health and wellbeing of rural communities. As we progress the trial, we will be eager to share what is learnt and see the model being adapted in other communities across rural, regional and remote Australia to address the ongoing rural healthcare access and health outcomes challenges,” Ms Tegen added.

About us:

The National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance) comprises 53 national organisations committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the over 7 million people in rural and remote Australia. Our diverse membership includes representation from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, health professional organisations, health service providers, health educators and students.

Contact details:

Kathya de Silva, Media and Communications Officer, National Rural Health Alliance, 0470 487 608 


More from this category

  • Information Technology, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 19/07/2024
  • 16:57

Navigating Australia’s 5-year Data and Digital Strategy with Personalised Tech Solutions for Aged Care Providers

The Aged Care Data and Digital Strategy 1 unveiled by the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care aims to establish a digitally connected…

  • Contains:
  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Government Federal
  • 19/07/2024
  • 11:23
Philanthropy Australia

Philanthropy Australia welcomes the release of the Productivity Commission’s Future Foundations for Giving report

Philanthropy Australia has welcomed the release of the final report of the Productivity Commission’s ‘once in a generation’ philanthropy inquiry, Future Foundations for Giving, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday afternoon. The report makes it clear that the Australian Government needs to implement significant reforms to build stronger policy foundations for growing giving in Australia. It is a comprehensive analysis of giving trends and motivations, and a detailed assessment of policy options. Philanthropy Australia actively participated in the inquiry’s extensive stakeholder engagement process. The report contains numerous findings and recommendations, covering areas such as: Reform of the ‘deductible gift recipient’…

  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Disability
  • 19/07/2024
  • 10:12
STEPS Group Australia


The eagerly awaited 2024 STEPS Grand Winter Ball presented by Ken Mills Toyota is set to illuminate the Sunshine Coast on July 27, 2024.…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.