TAMWORTH doctor Ian Kamerman is the new president of the Rural Doctors’ Association of Australia.
Dr Kamerman, voted in at the association’s annual conference last week, said it wanted to engage closely with the new federal government as it worked to improve access to healthcare services and health professionals in rural and remote Australia.
“We welcome the strong level of engagement we have already seen from the government on rural health issues,” Dr Kamerman said.
He said federal assistant minister for health, Senator Fiona Nash, had said inequities in access to health services in regional Australia would be a major focus for her.
“And, commencing next July, general practices will be able to apply for expansion grants for teaching infrastructure, based on an equal financial commitment from the practices,” he said.
Dr Kamerman said his organisation’s other priorities and concerns included: significant amendments to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification - Remoteness Areas system; the new arrangements for funding of after-hours medical services in rural areas (implemented just prior to the new government being elected); and the pressing need to ensure better support, training and supervision of the overseas-trained doctors in the rural medical workforce.