The Costs and Challenges for Medical and Health Care For Rural and Remote Australians

The Costs and Challenges for Medical and Health Care For Rural and Remote Australians

Road to Uluru

Australia has always been known for the great outback. However, for many Australians living in rural or remote locations, they can often face many problems and challenges when seeking medical care for an illness or disability.

These challenges affect not only the lifestyle and family structure, but also the finances of a household. We’ve outlined some of the most common and biggest problems that are faced by rural and remote Australians below.

The Costs & Challenges Faced By Rural And Remote Australians

1. Access

One of the biggest and most frequent of all problems that Australians living in remote or rural locations will have to face at some point in their lives is the lack of access to good quality medical services and care. Although there may be a GP in your town, it can be a huge problem with you require a specialist or health professionals for a disease or disability that cannot be treated by a general practitioner.

Just through the sheer distance that an individual will have to travel to seek medical advice alone, can be difficult. Imagine traveling hours to receive weekly treatment or for a surgery.

2. Impact On Income

Like many Australians, making a living is vital part of everyday life. This gets disrupted immediately, when your loved one or yourself require medical attention on an ongoing basis. Not only is it costly to travel far distances, it can also mean more time off work than you are able to receive through sick leave. As a result, it can be frustrating not only for you and your family, but also your employer who may require to let you go because of it.

3. Strain On The Family

If you or a loved one is sick, you will most likely require to seek immediate medical care. For many families, making the decision to move can be difficult, particularly if you have children to care for. Keeping the household as stable and sustaining a regular routine can be very important. The best way therefore can sometimes be to leave the family and seek accommodation nearby or within the hospital you are receiving treatment from. This puts a big strain on the family dynamics, where relationships can be difficult to maintain during long distance.

4. Medical Bills & Living Expenses

Seeking medical treatment can be an overwhelming process for any Australian. When you or a loved one falls it, it is always important to seek for the best medical assistance you can receive for the best chances of recovery and survival of a disease or disability. Whether it is from a specific hospital or working with a specific specialist, the costs can definitely add up, particularly if you require medical assistance beyond what a public hospital can provide.

When a family member seeks medical treatment, they will often have to resign from work and also relocate for months for treatment. Having to cover expenses for your household and also for medical treatment can be a huge problem, especially if finding employment is no longer a visible option.

photo by: Jo@net