The Queensland Rural and Remote Health Services Framework is designed to promote a consistent evidence-based approach to determining appropriate service levels, services, workforce and resourcing for all rural and remote hospitals and health care services in Queensland. This is a unique resource in Australia that sets out what towns of different sizes and composition are entitled to have in terms of services and the relevant staffing profile (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) to deliver those services.
Why is this useful for rural and remote people to read?
Rural and remote people in Queensland can review this framework to understand exactly what services should be funded in their community, and to hold manager accountability if those services, or staff, are not available. That means that when a budget is set for a hospital, and staffing profile, local people in Queensland have a foundation to hold governments accountable for delivering this funding and workforce. There is no comparable document in other States or Territories to our knowledge that provides a transparent, open and accountable framework for the funding of rural health for the community. In other jurisdictions communities, local government associations or other regional groupings might want to think about banding together to ask their government to co-design and publish a simple, straightforward and easily accessible document like this one in their State or Territory. In other jurisdictions, there is no easy way to know that a hospital budget set at the beginning of the year has been spent on the local community, or the money redirected to another town or city. There is no easy way to know if your local hospital should have 1 full time doctor or 2 on duty, or 3 nurses or 10. Rural and remote communities cannot hold governments accountable for health care delivery unless the ground rules about funding, services and workforce have been set out clearly in a document that everyone can access and read. The Queensland Government has shown that such an approach is possible, so there is no reason why other States and Territories cannot do it as well.
RURAL HEALTH FUNDING
Suggested Citation (go to Get Document if not provided)