RURAL HEALTH: New position to look out for rural health.
RURAL HEALTH: New position to look out for rural health. Iain Curry

Addressing lack of rural and regional health services

A NEW Assistant Minister for Rural Health has been appointed to address the lack of health services in rural and regional parts of the country.

Dr David Gillespie, a medical practitioner, was appointed to the National Rural Health Alliance position.

Dr Gillespie has provided health care in rural and remote parts of Australia, and is expected to make a difference to health in regional and rural areas like the South Burnett.

National Rural Health Alliance CEO Dr Kim Webber said rural and regional Australians made the importance of their health "loud and clear" during the election.

Because of this, she said the new position was hugely important.

"For as long as we can remember, the one third of the population who live outside the major cities have had the highest health care needs," she said.

"But also the worst access to health services.

"We see the devastating results of this through increased rates of ill health, hospitalisation and premature death in our rural and remote population."

Dr Webber said regions did not need more funding than metro areas, but simply a fair share of the health budget.

"And flexibility to enable that share to be used most effectively in rural and remote areas," she said.