The Nationals in Government are making rural health a priority with substantial investments to improve access to quality healthcare for Australians living outside our capital cities.

As the new Minister for Regional Services, Mark Coulton will be working to ensure that the healthcare needs of rural and regional Australia remain front and centre.

“We know that there are enough doctors being trained in Australia, but one of the challenges for me as the Minister for Regional Services is to ensure that they are working where they are most needed.” Mr Coulton said. “This is a priority I take very seriously and one I have been fighting for over the past 11 years as the Member for Parkes. My extensive experience and key achievements as an advocate for the people of western New South Wales stand me in good stead to deliver strong and successful rural health outcomes.”

The Nationals in Government have made significant progress in regional health, through initiatives such as the University of Sydney’s School of Rural Health in Dubbo, which forms part of the Government’s $95.4 million Murray Darling Medical Schools Network. This network will see more doctors trained and retained in our country areas.

This builds on the achievements of the $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy announced in the 2018 Budget. This is arguably the most significant change to rural health workforce strategy in three decades. This strategy directly addresses the need to get more doctors and other medical professionals out into rural and regional Australia.

An additional $62.2 million announced in the 2019 Budget will fasttrack the National Rural Generalist Pathway program. More rural GPs in rural and remote areas will mean enhanced access to services and better health outcomes for these communities.

As Minister for Regional Services one of Mr Coulton’s top priorities is to ensure people in country communities get the healthcare they need and deserve into the future.