Healthcare in rural areas
Write an essay about healthcare facilities found in rural areas
Health Outcomes of People Living in Rural Australia
The National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health (NSFRRH) is focused on the promotion of national approach to planning, policy, design and the delivery of the health services in remote communities. The framework is also effective when it comes to guiding the actions of the policy makers and decision-making efforts at the territorial, state and national levels (Australian Government Department of Health, 2016). Additionally, the NSFRRH has also proven to be desirable for local health service providers and communities in the process of planning programs and services depending on the local needs of the people. Generally, NSFRRH seeks to enhance health outcomes as well as ensure a return on investment for the remote and rural Australians (Australian Government Department of Health, 2016). This essay discusses NSFRRH’s five outcome areas. Additionally, how the outcome areas focus enhancing the health outcomes of the people living in the rural and remote areas in Australia is also explored. Moreover, the essay will also identify one of the NSFRRH’s five outcome areas and provide a discussion of the role that the nurses can play within the outlined aspect of the framework with a focus of enhancing the health and wellbeing of the people residing in the remote and rural destinations in Australia.
The First Outcome Area: Access
Accessing quality healthcare services for the people living in remote areas in Australia has proven to be a challenge. Although people in Australia are required to travel internationally to access some of the quality services, it remains to be a potential challenge for the communities residing in the remote regions to access even the primary care services (Thomas et al., 2015). Improving the manner in which the people residing the remote areas access the care can be challenging and complex. However, improving an access is a fundamental step towards enhancing how the health outcome of the people residing in the rural destinations. Thomas et al. (2015) explain that establishing better care services in the remote areas is one of the effective strategies focused on improving access to care by ensuring that the people can effectively access the quality and safe forms of health care.
The outcome area on access provides a depiction that efforts are being established to guarantee a coordinated and flexible approach towards the improvement of an access to care services in the remote areas. Topp, Edelman and Taylor (2018) suggest that this will be effective in closing the gap in care between the Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander communities. This is achieved through the utilisation of a better infrastructure and design, the provision of flexible funding options, as well as ensuring that the members of the health workforce are effectively adapted to meet the remote health needs. Furthermore, the access of care to the people in the remote destinations in Australia is also improved through an enhanced operational efficiency so that the scarce resources can be desirably utilised, particular in the small facilities located in the rural areas (Thomas et al., 2015). Technology has also been utilised to improve how people access the care services while in the remote regions. For instance, the members of the community no longer have to travel for longer distances to access mental health services, as this is administered using video conferencing for the patient assessment services (McGrail et al., 2017).
The Second Outcome Area: Service Models and Models of Care
To obtain desirable outcomes when it comes to equity and the access of care for the people living in the remote areas in Australia, it is desirable to establish and apply a service model as well as a model of care suitable in the facilitation of the continuity of care (Bourke et al., 2015). This outcome area has increasingly benefited the people living in the rural and remote areas in Australia in that the multi-purpose service model, which has been implemented since 1993, has guaranteed the flexibility of services (Bourke et al., 2015). Notably, services that are more flexible are provided through the multipurpose service model to cater for the health and aged care needs of the communities in the rural areas. Furthermore, services such as fly-in and fly-out have been offered through innovative models, thus ensuring a better specialist outreach for the people in the remote and rural regions (Alston, Nichols & Allender, 2019).
The NSFRRH framework has achieved this outcome by enhancing the relationship prevailing between the local service providers as well as the larger care centres to ensure that the locally provided services are complemented for the aged people and others. For example, The Cancer Australia Cancer Services Network National Demonstration (CanNET) Program was devised with an aim of coming up with networked cancer services prevailing between the specialist and rural services (Bourke et al., 2015). The focus was to provide a wide range of opportunities for shared learning and reduced duplication of resources and efforts. Through this service, the people residing in Western Australia could easily access cancer services, including education to ensure a change in their lifestyle from a specialist located in metropolitan Perth (Bourke et al., 2015).
The Third Outcome Area: Health Workforce
Abelsen et al. (2020) state that the one of the primary challenges facing Australian health service as a whole entails the process of attracting and retaining skilled members of the healthcare workforce. However, it remains a fact that the workforce supply has reached an even more critical level in most of the remote and rural destinations. Abelsen et al. (2020) report that the number of care specialists available in the rural areas in Australia is highly lower per capita. As a result, there is an increased on overseas training professionals as well as the international medical graduates to address the case of the care professional shortages in the remote and rural destinations. This explains the rise in professional training in the rural destinations in Australia (Shrivastava et al., 2020).
The NSFRRH framework focuses on enhancing the health outcomes of the people living in the remote and rural areas of Australia by ensuring that the right workforce is recruited and retained. This aspect is achieved using several strategies. For instance, after the competent and qualified care professionals are identified, effective training placements to the remote and rural areas are supported across the varied health professional segments (Abelsen et al., 2020). Moreover, Strategies such as the routine improvement and evaluation of the workforce support programs is also provided with a consideration as this focuses on ensuring that there is an equitable distribution of the care provider within the remote and rural destination health facilities (Abelsen et al., 2020).
The Fourth Outcome Area: Collaborative Partnerships and Planning
Addressing the complexities related with the remote and rural health in Australia is regarded as a necessary plan that can be effective in promoting the delivery of quality care in the communities living in the region. Notably, addressing such challenges would guarantee that the specific needs of the Torres Strait Islander people are considered as well as that of other isolated populations (Bourke et al., 2015). Moreover, this will also be effective in guaranteeing that the high level of diversity existing between the people in the remote communities is also addressed for a desirable care delivery.
The NSFRRH framework has focused on improving the health outcomes of the people residing in the rural and remote destinations in Australia through local planning. Arguably, local planning has a desirable role in guaranteeing the delivery of a sustainable healthcare in the chosen population by aiding in the identification of individual features of an area and their specific needs (Wilson et al., 2017). Moreover, through local planning, it becomes simple to outline the gaps and opportunities in the delivery of care in the remote areas and the need for establishing partnerships and linkages between community services, governments, care providers, and stakeholders (Buykx et al., 2012). The local planning strategy considered in this case is associated with several advantages that seek to promote the delivery of quality care to the remote and rural areas in Australia. For instance, local planning aids in the delivery of a sustainable and integrated health services that is effective in achieving the needs of the local community in the remote and rural areas (Euphemia, Lutge & Adepeju, 2020). The Western Aranda Health Aboriginal Corporation (WAHAC), The Northern Territory Department of Health, and the community members have developed an effective partnership that has aided in the promotion of healthy choices among the Ntaria Aboriginal community (Cosgrave, Malatzky & Gillespie, 2019).
The Fifth Outcome Area: Strong Leadership, Governance, Transparency, and Performance
Managing and leading care organisations in remote and rural areas can be challenging in comparison to larger centres. Instances of limited resources, limited rural health services and poor budgets can create even increased pressure for the staff when in come to running the day-to-day services (Smith et al., 2019). However, to guarantee an improved health of the people residing in the remote and rural destination in Australia, the NSFRRH framework seeks to establish ways whereby stronger governance and leadership can effectively cater for the needs of the identified population the focus is to achieve, quality, sustainability and safety of the care services (Alston, Nichols & Allender, 2019).
Nurses’ Role in promoting Access
When it comes to access, nurses can play a significant role to guarantee that quality care is delivered to the people residing in the rural and remote destinations. Deroy and Schütze (2019) argue that nurses play an effective role in addressing the cases of inequities access within the various care aspects, specifically within education, prevention and the delivery of health services. Considering the ICN code of ethics for the nurses, nurses have a professional obligation focused on advocating or the change and development to guarantee that the general health outcomes are improved (Afifeh et al., 2016). Therefore, to promote an access of care in the rural areas, the nurses have a duty to strengthen the fundamental care systems to embrace any reform process seeking to overcome the obstacles.
The World Health Organisation has strongly supported this position and continually encouraged the government to intensify the care systems by training and retaining the care professionals, including nurses (Jormfeldt et al., 2018). Therefore, for the nurses to ensure access, the professionals should be ready to undergo through the requisite training to have proper skills needed to offer primary health care even in remote destinations. It is also a fact that the fundamental pillar for promoting access to the care services requires the input of the governments for the effective support of the nurses (Jormfeldt et al., 2018). Evidently, the governments should show their unwavering support to the nurses by increasing their compensation for the extra services they offer to boost the level of care support in the rural destinations. For instance, the nurses can opt to offer home care services for the old people living in the rural areas as a means of promoting access (Euphemia, Lutge & Adepeju, 2020). This move will ensure that the nurses remain motivated in establishing new ways of fostering care access to the disadvantaged groups and communities in the rural areas (Euphemia, Lutge & Adepeju, 2020).
Conclusively, the NSFRRH framework has established a national approach to policy, planning, design, and delivery of care service in remote regions. The framework is suitable since it offers a guide to the policy makers’ actions when it comes to decision making at the national, state and territorial levels. Through several outcome areas, the NSFRRH framework has allocated its efforts towards promoting how the people in the rural and remote Australia access services. This is reflected by the focus to improve access of care services, the Service Models and Models of Care utilised in the delivery of services, health workforce recruitment and retention, collaborative partnership and planning efforts, and effective leadership, governance, transparency, and performance. To foster an access of care to the rural areas in Australia, the nurses can achieve this objective by education, prevention efforts and the delivery of health services.
Abelsen, B., Strasser, R., Heaney, D., Berggren, P., Sigurðsson, S., Brandstorp, H., . . . Nicoll, P. (2020). Plan, recruit, retain: A framework for local healthcare organizations to achieve a stable remote rural workforce. Human Resources for Health, 18, 1-10. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12960-020-00502-x
Afifeh, R. K., Ramezanli, S., & Marzieh, K. J. (2016). A study of the awareness of the nursing students with the ethical codes of clinical care at Jahrom University of medical sciences. Biosciences Biotechnology Research Asia, 13(4), 2125-2129. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.13005/bbra/2373
Alston, L., Nichols, M., & Allender, S. (2019). Policy makers’ perceptions of the high burden of heart disease in rural Australia: Implications for the implementation of evidence-based rural health policy. PLoS One, 14(4) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215358
Australian Government Department of Health, (2016). National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health. Retrieved from https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/national-strategic-framework-rural-remote-health
Bourke, L., Best, J. D., Wakerman, J., Humphreys, J. S., & Wright, J. R. (2015). Reflection on the development of a research agenda in rural health. Journal of Research Practice, 11(1) Retrieved from https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/reflection-on-development-research-agenda-rural/docview/2230944496/se-2?accountid=45049
Buykx, P., Humphreys, J. S., Tham, R., Kinsman, L., Wakerman, J., Asaid, A., & Tuohey, K. (2012). How do small rural primary health care services sustain themselves in a constantly changing health system environment? BMC Health Services Research, 12, 81. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-12-81
Cosgrave, C., Malatzky, C., & Gillespie, J. (2019). Social determinants of rural health workforce retention: A scoping review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(3) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030314
Deroy, S., & Schütze, H. (2019). Factors supporting retention of aboriginal health and wellbeing staff in aboriginal health services: A comprehensive review of the literature. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-0968-4
Euphemia, M. M., Lutge, E., & Adepeju, L. (2020). The roles, responsibilities and perceptions of community health workers and ward-based primary health care outreach teams: A scoping review. Global Health Action, 13(1) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16549716.2020.1806526
Jormfeldt, H., Doyle, L., Ellilä, H., Lahti, M., Higgins, A., Keogh, B., . . . Kilkku, N. (2018). Master’s level mental health nursing competencies, a prerequisite for equal health among service users in mental health care. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 13, 1-9. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2018.1502013
McGrail, M. ,GradDipI. T, Russell, D., ClinEpid, F., & Humphreys, J. (2017). Index of access: A new innovative and dynamic tool for rural health service and workforce planning. Australian Health Review, 41(5), 492-498. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH16049
Shrivastava, R., Couturier, Y., Girard, F., Papineau, L., & Emami, E. (2020). Two-eyed seeing of the integration of oral health in primary health care in indigenous populations: A scoping review. International Journal for Equity in Health, 19, 1-18. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12939-020-01195-3
Smith, T., McNeil, K., Mitchell, R., Boyle, B., & Ries, N. (2019). A study of macro-, meso- and micro-barriers and enablers affecting extended scopes of practice: The case of rural nurse practitioners in Australia. BMC Nursing, 18 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12912-019-0337-z
Thomas, S. L., Wakerman, J., & Humphreys, J. S. (2015). Ensuring equity of access to primary health care in rural and remote Australia – what core services should be locally available? International Journal for Equity in Health, 14 Retrieved from https://www.proquest.com/scholarly-journals/ensuring-equity-access-primary-health-care-rural/docview/1779705889/se-2?accountid=45049
Topp, S. M., Edelman, A., & Taylor, S. (2018). “We are everything to everyone”: A systematic review of factors influencing the accountability relationships of aboriginal and Torres Strait islander health workers (AHWs) in the Australian health system. International Journal for Equity in Health, 17 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12939-018-0779-z
Wilson, L. A., Pakes, B., Murphy, M. S. Q., Atkinson, K. M., Bell, C., & Wilson, K. (2017). Connecting remote populations to public health: The case for a digital immunisation information system in Nunavut. International Journal of Circumpolar Health (Online), 76(1), 1-7. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/22423982.2017.1358566