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Improving rural and remote health

John Wakerman, John S Humphreys, Robert W Wells, Pim Kuipers, Philip Entwistle and Judith Jones
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (9): 486.
Published online: 7 May 2007

To the Editor: We welcome your recent focus on rural and remote health. Kamien and Cameron’s editorial addressed medical workforce supply issues,1 and the accompanying article ranged across not only workforce supply issues, but also broader systemic issues, including the roles of different levels of government.2 Coincidentally, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released its latest medical workforce report, which reported a rise in the number of doctors per head of population overall, particularly specialists, and particularly in urban areas, but decreased numbers of doctors in the bush, particularly in remote areas.3 Most of the media response ignored the contemporaneous nursing workforce report,4 which described a much more even geographical distribution of the nursing workforce — the largest health professional group.

  • John Wakerman1
  • John S Humphreys2
  • Robert W Wells3
  • Pim Kuipers4
  • Philip Entwistle1
  • Judith Jones2

  • 1 Centre for Remote Health, Alice Springs, NT.
  • 2 School of Rural Health, Monash University, Bendigo, VIC.
  • 3 Menzies Centre for Health Policy, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.
  • 4 Centre of National Research on Disability and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.


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