2016 Federal Election

policy statement

The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) is non-political and has never before made an election campaign request.

2016 is different.

Remote and rural Australians have up to three times the rate of chronic illness than people in cities. Country people die an average two years earlier than city people. Seven out of ten babies in NorthernAustralia have scabies before their first birthday. Indigenous child injury deaths are three times higher than non-Indigenous children. Country children have twice as many decayed, missing, or filled teeth than city children.

Across almost every measure, Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) research shows evidence of country residents being, on average, sicker and having less access to health services than city residents.

Flying Doctor research shows rural Australians see doctors at half the rate of city people, medical specialists at a third the rate, and mental health professionals at a fifth the rate. Remote and rural Australia has a third of the number of dentists working in city areas.In a plea for better health outcomes and improved access to health services in the bush, the Flying Doctor today released its first ever election policy statement calling for all major parties contesting the 2016 Federal election to promise, if elected on 3 July, to:

1. Conduct a non-partisan inquiry to recommend actions for improved health outcomes for remote and rural Australians.
2. Establish a Remote and Rural Dental Outreach program to enable better access to dentistry and oral health in under-served parts of remote and rural Australia.
3. Commit the Council of Australian Governments to a national injury prevention and safety promotion plan focusing on remote and rural Australia.

Read and download our policy statement entitled 2016 Federal Election, An opportunity to Improve Remote and Rural Health.