50 projects share in $8.7 million to set up or improve rural health services.
Rural patients will benefit from new infrastructure grants to 50 projects across Australia, Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced today. Under Round 6 of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program, $8.7 million is being directed to the projects.
Under Round 6 of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program, $8.7 million is being directed to the projects.
“While rates of some chronic disease are high for patients living in rural and remote areas, they often find it harder to access the level of health care they require,” said Ms Plibersek.
“That is why the Gillard Government is committed to setting up new rural health services or the improvement of existing facilities.”
According to the National Strategic Framework for Rural and Remote Health, rural areas have higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity as well as poor dental, antenatal and post-natal health.
Ms Plibersek said by providing essential health infrastructure, either as capital works or as equipment, the program made it easier for patients to get care when and where they needed it.
Examples of some of the grants are:
- $500,000 for Tilligerry Medical Practice, Tanilba Bay, NSW, for relocation.
- $328,198 for Optometry at Cooroy, Cooroy, QLD, for optometry equipment.
- $453,550 for Njernda Aboriginal Corporation, Echuca, VIC, to renovate clinic.
- $274,276 for Robe Dental, Robe, SA, to refurbish practice.
- $395,000 for Hermitage Dental Kempsey, NSW, to expand services.
- $250,000 for Physikal Health Services, QLD, for mobile physiotherapy capacity.
The National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program also funds strategic service planning for small rural private hospitals.
The NRRHIP has been designed to improve opportunities for partnerships and multidisciplinary approaches to the delivery of health care in rural and remote communities through better access to funding for infrastructure.
The National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) provides funding for the provision of essential health infrastructure (capital works and equipment), and strategic service planning for small rural private hospitals, thereby supporting the establishment of new, or the enhancement of existing health services.
The objectives of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) are to:
- support local rural and remote communities to develop flexible, long-term solutions for the provision of health services to meet the needs of the community;
- assist the establishment and/or refurbishment of walk-in/walk-out primary health care and medical facilities in rural and remote communities;
- retain community access to rural private hospital services;
- support allied health professionals to establish, continue and/or enhance the delivery of privately insurable health services to rural and remote communities; and
- make it easier for rural and remote communities to recruit and retain the services of general practitioners and allied health professionals.
A maximum of $500,000 (GST exclusive) is available under theNational Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) for eligible applicants seeking to provide services in rural and remote communities in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Areas (RA) 2 to 5 with a population of up to 20,000.
Who Can Apply for NRRHIP Funding?
Applicants eligible for funding under the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) include:
- local government organisations (shire councils, district councils, regional councils)
- Divisions of General Practice
- Medicare Locals
- Indigenous organisations
- private general practitioners, where funding will be used for training facilities for medical students/registrars
- allied health professionals, where funding will be used to establish, continue and/or enhance the delivery of privately insurable health services;
- Aboriginal Health and Mental Health Workers
- Registered nurses in specialist roles (including mental health, asthma management, diabetes education, drug & alcohol)
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech Pathologists
- dentists in private practice
- rural private hospitals eligible under the former Bush Nursing, Small Community and Regional Private Hospitals Program (BNSCRPHP) and the Rural Private Access (RPA) Program i.e. rural private hospitals that were eligible and operating when the BNSCRPHP and RPA programs were in existence
What Can Be Funded?
National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) funding is available for the following three streams:
- a) Capital works / refurbishment up to $500,000 (GST exclusive);
- b) Equipment up to $250,000 (GST exclusive); and/or
- c) Strategic service planning for small rural private hospitals up to $50,000 (GST exclusive).
An applicant may apply for funding under more than one funding stream, but the total of their application must not exceed $500,000 (GST exclusive).
Capital works / refurbishment may involve:
- the acquisition or establishment of new buildings and/or fit-out or renovations of existing buildings; and/or
- refurbishment of private practices to establish training facilities for medical students and/or medical registrars
Equipment purchase may involve:
- medical/surgical equipment;
- technology upgrades such as computer hardware and software;
- patient information management systems; and/or
- videoconferencing equipment.
Strategic Service Planning for Rural Private Hospitals
Strategic service planning refers to the development of a strategic/business plan that will guide operations and ensure financial viability. For example, it could involve:
- undertaking a feasibility study for a particular health service delivery model, including the introduction of privately insurable health services;
- undertaking a consultancy and community/stakeholder consultations to assist the development of appropriate health service delivery models to address community needs and to enhance the long term viability of the services;
- support for accreditation; and/or
- examining current administrative and financial management arrangements in order to achieve economies of scale.
15 December 2011 at 2:00pm
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