ACAP national director Doug Wright accompanied by ACAP policy consultant Ray Bange met with Mr Rod Wellington, the Chief Executive Officer of Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) on Friday 25 June 2010. SARRAH is a nationally recognised peak body representing rural and remote allied health professionals. It is a ‘grassroots’ organisation whose membership consists of individual allied health professionals across rural and remote Australia and advocates for rural and remote allied health professionals and allied health practice at local, state and national levels.
The discussions covered a range of practice issues of common interest to ACAP and SARRAH. These included the difficulties in providing out of hospital emergency medical services in rural and remote areas, the provision of suitable scholarships, support systems and incentives for paramedics, the importance of practitioner networks and interprofessional practice, the challenges to be overcome in maintaining professional skills, mechanisms to provide continuing professional development, funding arrangements to support rural health care and the need for national registration of paramedics. It was agreed that ACAP and SARRAH would work together more closely in bringing the benefits of extended care and interprofessional practice models to the attention of government so as to realise better health care for Australia’s rural and remote population.