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Type: Journal article
Title: Tantalus and the Tyranny of Territory: Pursuing the dream of parity in rural and metropolitan population health outcomes through effective primary health care programmes
Author: Harvey, P.
Citation: Australian Journal of Primary Health, 2004; 10(3):83-88
Publisher: Australian Journal Primary Health, Australian Institute Primary Care & School Public Health
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 1448-7527
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Peter Harvey
Abstract: Many health professionals and rural health academics are motivated by the challenge of achieving equitable access to health care in rural communities with the implicit vision that fairer access to services might ultimately lead to more equitable health outcomes for people living in rural and remote settings. The purpose of this paper is to put the issue of rural and urban health outcome parity into perspective and assess recent progress towards achieving the ultimate goal of improving rural health status. I will also explore ways in which rural communities might increase their access to and use of primary health care revenue in the future to improve community health outcomes. While some improvements have been achieved across the rural health system in recent times, the fundamental problem of maintaining infrastructure to service community needs in rural areas remains as daunting as ever. Extensive evidence has now been assembled to show that rural people generally enjoy a much lower standard of health care, health outcomes and life expectancy than their urban cousins. The question underlying all of this evidence, however, is... must this always be so? Is it possible to redress the current inequities between rural and urban populations and could new primary health care initiatives, such as the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program, be vehicles for achieving more equitable health care arrangements and health outcomes for people living in rural communities?
Keywords: Rural health, Isolation, Equity, Primary health care, Economics
Rights: © La Trobe University 2004
RMID: 0020076177
DOI: 10.1071/PY04051
Appears in Collections:Rural Clinical School publications

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