Dental Tribune International

Call for stories giving opinions and experiences of rural health workers in Australia

MELBOURNE, Australia: In Australia, some of the most at-risk dental patients are those living in the remote areas of the continent. Access, education and cost are the main contributing causes of oral health issues, and the professionals working in these areas are key to others gaining a wider understanding and thus implementing better services and programmes. As part of a movement to promote better healthcare in rural Australia, the National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) is now asking health professionals from these regions to share their stories.

Looking for pieces of 500 words or less, the NRHA would like health professionals to focus on what a typical day looks like, the types of services provided, the unique challenges experienced, methods of dealing with these challenges and, in the opinion of the writer, what could be done differently to improve the care provided. There is also an associated hashtag—#loverural—which organisers would like writers to use in sharing why they love working in rural areas.

The project is part of an initiative which includes the development of a series of fact sheets that document key statistics on the rural workforce in Australia who often have to deal with issues of under-resourcing, particularly in areas of key concern, such as oral or dental health, chronic diseases and mental health.

The NRHA, which exists to champion the needs of the health workforce in rural and remote communities, plans to publish these stories alongside the fact sheets as documented examples of the unique challenges facing those who work away from Australia’s well-resourced main urban centres. The plan is to use the stories collected to promote the need for better access to health services in rural and remote Australia.

The submission deadline for the project is 24 July. Healthcare professionals interested in contributing can click here for more information.

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