Have health services in remote, rural and regional areas improved over the past year? What is the government doing to strengthen the regional health workforce, and ensure that health services in remote, rural and regional areas receive appropriate funding?

The Select Committee on Remote, Rural and Regional Health has adopted an inquiry that will examine how recommendations made in a 2022 Legislative Council (LC) committee inquiry are being carried out. The inquiry has a particular focus on recent government actions to address staff recruitment and retention, workplace culture, and funding for agencies, programs and incentives.

The Select Committee has adopted this inquiry as a first step to oversee the results of the LC committee recommendations over the next two years. The committee is now calling for submissions from stakeholders and the general public.

Committee chair, Dr Joe McGirr, said the new inquiry will specifically examine the progress made in the health sector since changes were made following government’s last inquiry on the issue.

“Improvements to the regional health workforce and funding for services and programs are critical to address the many poor outcomes that patients are experiencing in remote, rural and regional health services across the state,” he said.

“The committee wants to know what progress has been made by the government and NSW Health in implementing the recommendations since last year’s inquiry, and any challenges that have been experienced as part of this process.

“If you or your organisation are affected by the proposed reforms,or have suggestions in regard to improving the implementation of the original recommendations, we would love to hear your views.

“The 2022 inquiry made 44 recommendations, and the government proposed numerous actions to  implement these recommendations,” Dr McGirr said.  “Our committee’s role is to ensure that the government is kept to its word, and that health outcomes are improved for people across regional NSW.”

Submissions close on Friday, September 22, 2023.

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