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The Coalition Government is delivering on its election commitment to appoint a National Rural Health Commissioner.

Australia’s first National Rural Health Commissioner will be an independent and high-profile advocate for regional, rural and remote health.

The Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams welcomed the introduction of legislation into the House of Representatives by the Nationals Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie, to establish the role of the Commissioner as part of important reforms to regional and rural health in Australia.

Senator Williams said the Health Insurance Amendment Bill 2017 will establish Australia’s first ever National Rural Health Commissioner.

He said the people of regional, rural and remote Australia are the heart and soul of our country, but their health outcomes are often diminished due to their remoteness and reduced access to health services.

“The role of the National Rural Health Commissioner is to be an independent advocate, giving us frank advice on regional and rural health reform and representing the needs and rights of regional, rural and remote Australia.”

“$4.4 million is being provided to establish the new Commissioner, who will work with communities, the health sector, universities, specialist training colleges and across all levels of government to improve rural health policies and champion the cause of rural practice.”

“The National Rural Health Commissioner will be the champion of rural communities everywhere.” 

“While the Commissioner’s first priority is the development of the medical generalist pathway, the Commissioner’s role will be much broader and will give consideration to the nursing, dental health, Indigenous health, mental health, midwifery and allied health needs in regional, rural and remote Australia”, Senator Williams said. 

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