This week I have a focus on rural health and enjoying the outdoors. If you aren’t into sport, even if you can’t walk, you can still enjoy the outdoors.
Firstly, with the serious side of rural health. The National Rural Health Alliance has been leading advocacy to the Government that it is time to develop a new Rural and Remote Health Strategy.
The Strategy would also require a fully funded Implementation Plan. In developing its thoughts on the need for a new Strategy and its contents, the Alliance is developing a series of discussion papers, with the first now available.
The paper is titled Considering the reasons why we need a new Strategy and what has been achieved under the 2011 – 12 Strategy.
Initially the National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health (the Framework) was developed through the Rural Health Standing Committee, a committee of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council, and agreed by the Standing Council on Health, the committee of Ministers of Health, in late 2011. It was launched in 2012. The Framework was developed through a consultative process that included significant input from the National Rural Health Alliance and other rural and remote health stakeholders, including State and Territory governments.
While the Framework can be accessed through the Department of Health website, it is not in use. No reporting has ever been undertaken to present an update on progress, recognition of the range of policies and programs implemented by Commonwealth, State or Territory Governments to address the goals of the Framework, or to examine the effectiveness of the Framework in addressing those goals.
In developing this Discussion paper, the Alliance is seeking to undertake a high level, selective assessment using publicly available data to ascertain to what extent progress is being made in addressing health concerns and inequities in rural and remote Australia, referencing back to the goals and outcomes set out in the Framework. Where related specific programs stemming from the Framework can be identified and their outcomes assessed, this will be included in the discussion.
Given there are nine specific issues identified in the Framework, the Alliance will seek information on only three to discuss whether any change in outcomes following the implementation of the Framework can be assessed accurately, and if so, what outcomes were achieved.
I have put a link to the Discussion paper on our website. Feedback on the paper can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Moving on to the outdoors and how you can be involved in community activities. The National Parks Association will be holding their next walk on Wednesday 26 July at Wombin State Forest. Walkers are to meet at Bushman’s Dam, Parkes at 0915. This is an easy 6 kilometre walk. If you are planning to walk or require further information, contact walk leader Martin Bell on 0429346586.
It would be remiss of me to be talking about enjoying the outdoors without mentioning National Tree Day next weekend. Central West Lachlan Landcare are pleased to be working with the Forbes and Parkes communities on two projects that will increase biodiversity in our local area, which benefits all of us!
We would love it if you could join us on Saturday, 29 July at Forbes or Sunday, 30 July at Parkes. Go to the treeday.planetark.org to register or contact me. Details in separate article. Hope to see you at one of these events!
For further information and links to further information in this article, please go to our website at centralwestlachlanlandcare.org, our facebook page, email@example.com or ring 02 6862 4914.
Until next week, happy Landcaring!