Rural and Remote Medical Services has launched its 2021/22 Strategy setting out a bold new vision for rural and remote health in NSW and Australia.
"The new Strategy has been developed over the last 12 months to reflect a rapidly changing environment for on-site access to rural and remote healthcare" said Mark Burdack, CEO of RARMS.
"Communities are increasingly telling us that they feel like they are 'on their own' if they want to have access to local health and medical care.
"RARMS was formed through a collaboration with the communities of Walgett, Collarenebri and Lightning Ridge to develop a local community-led model of care that was sustainable and provided continuity of practice in towns that struggled to retain GPs.
"In our twentieth year of working as a charity, we serve more than 22,000 patients across 10 communities keeping local GP and hospital service open with a cohort of dedicated local GPs and nurses.
"While RARMS has proven that we can get doctors and nurses into rural and remote communities for 20 years, we are constantly challenged by an institutional view that it cannot be done affordably and that the only option for our communities is 24/7 Telehealth.
"A key part of our Strategy is to recognise that traditional sources of support for rural and remote primary health and hospital care is declining and that we need to find other sources of income to continue delivering services into the future.
"To achieve this, we have set out a plan to establish a seperate social enterprise and open mix billing practices across metropolitan and regional centres. 100% of the profits from the social enterprise will go straight back to support our successful model of recruiting and retaining doctors and nurses in the most disadvantaged communities in NSW.
"It is like Robin Hood, except that we will be welcoming our metropolitan communities to use our medical centres knowing that they will be directly supporting health care for vulnerable children, families and older Australians in rural and remote areas.
"We have a great belief in the compassion and generosity of the Australian people for their brothers and sisters in rural and remote Australia, and we are confident that our metropolitan practices will become a lynchpin in delivering high quality care to our rural and remote communities alongside our new charitable giving program.
RARMS will announce its first major metropolitan practice opening in the next few weeks as part of its strategy to keep rural and remote communities healthy.
er information contact Mark Burdack, CEO of RARMS on 0418974988.