Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Ahmed SM, Anise A, Azzahir A, Baker KE, Cupito A, Eder M, Everette TD, Erwin K, Felzien M, Freeman E, Gibbs D, Greene-Moton E, Hernández-Cancio S, Hwang A, Jones F, Jones G, Jones M, Khodyakov D, Michener JL, Milstein B, Oto-Kent DS, Orban M, Pusch B, Shah M, Shaw M, Tarrant J, Wallerstein N, Westfall JM, Williams A, Zaldivar R.
In the past rural and remote communities ran the local hospital with a community board, and social care services such as disability support, aged care and welfare were provided by NGOs run by local people. Over the last decade governments moved to take-over these functions. In the hospital sector, local rural hospitals were taken over by larger regional networks and local boards replaced. In the social services sector, small charities that provided local services using local people were consumed by large corporate charities located in metropolitan and regional cities. The effect of these changes was the loss of local community control over health and social care in rural and remote communities, and a serious decline in access to services and health outcomes. Over the last several years, there has been growing number of research papers that demonstrate that this loss of community knowledge, engagement and commitment has been a major contributor to the failure of rural health and social care services in Australia to meet community needs. Genuine community control was replaced with "superficial engagement" and the "community is denied access to the decision-making process, and interactions tend toward tokenism and marginalization, or the community is simply informed of plans or consulted to provide limited perspectives on select activities". This article explore the concept of meaningful community engagement, and how governments can work collaboratively with communities and residents ("through those who share similar situations, concerns, or challenges").
Why is this useful for rural and remote people to read?
This article is useful for rural and remote residents to read because it puts forward some of the latest research on how current systems of community engagement can be reformed to ensure the people with lived experience of health and social care delivery can contribute their knowledge to reform of community engagement to improve the relevance and effectiveness of health and social care programs, and reduce the wastage of taxpayer funding.
RURAL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Suggested Citation (go to Get Document if not provided)
Organizing Committee for Assessing Meaningful Community Engagement in Health & Health Care Programs & Policies. 2022. Assessing Meaningful Community Engagement: A Conceptual Model to Advance Health Equity through Transformed Systems for Health. NAM Perspectives. Commentary, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. https://doi.org/10.31478/202202c.