CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
TONY ZAPPIA MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR MEDICARE
MEMBER FOR MAKIN
APPOINTMENT OF NATIONAL RURAL HEALTH COMMISSIONER
Labor congratulates Professor Paul Worley on his appointment as Australia’s first National Rural Health Commissioner.
Labor has been a strong supporter of the National Rural Health Commissioner role, having fought for changes to ensure the role adequately supported Australians living in rural and remote areas.
Professor Worley brings a significant amount of experience in rural health to the role, as a past President of the Rural Doctors Association of South Australia and a previous Vice President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.
Significantly, Professor Worley will have the important task of overseeing the National Rural Generalist Pathway with the aim of getting more doctors with advanced skills to rural and remote communities.
Professor Worley also has an important responsibility in tackling the unacceptable gap in health access, health outcomes and disease burden for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in rural, remote and very remote Australia.
Remote and rural Australia experiences unique challenges – average life spans of women and men are, respectively, 2 years and 3.4 years lower than city dwellers and chronic disease levels, including diabetes, coronary heart disease, lung cancer, eye disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are considerably higher. At the same time, the ratio of health professionals is much lower than in the city areas.
Labor looks forward to working with Professor Worley to improve the health outcomes of Australians living in rural Australia.