Optometry Board of Australia - Podcast: A glimpse of health care in our rural and remote communities
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Podcast: A glimpse of health care in our rural and remote communities

16 Jun 2020

The latest in Ahpra’s Taking care podcast series is now available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) has today released its latest podcast in the Taking care series, featuring a moving discussion with three health practitioners about their experience of working in rural and remote areas.

Host Tash Miles leads the conversation with pharmacist Hannah Mann, podiatrist Amy Nelson, and proud Murrawarri woman and optometrist Lauren Hutchinson, about this important and unique part of the Australian health landscape. We hear about some of the benefits and challenges faced by patients and practitioners in rural and remote areas of our country.

Hannah Mann has lived and worked in the Kimberley, the most northern region of Western Australia, since a student placement at the beginning of her career. It’s not surprising that she’s incredibly passionate about future students having the same opportunity. As she says, in rural and remote areas, ‘the community is your patient. You have these relationships with community members who trust and rely on you so much. In metro areas, you have limited capacity to have those close relationships.’

While many practitioners and others are drawn to the beauty of remote living, life in the outback can be tough. In rural Australia, life expectancy is shorter. Chronic and complex health conditions are common, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are vulnerable. Geographical distance and access to services is an issue that affects everyone in remote regions. All three health practitioners in this episode speak to the stark contrast between health outcomes for people in remote and rural communities compared to those living in metropolitan areas in Australia.

Ms Mann says, ‘We talk a lot about the burden of chronic disease, issues around Aboriginal Health and Closing the gap. But when you actually see people in their thirties on dialysis because of renal disease and diabetes… People dying of what are widely considered to be preventable complications of chronic disease… In a metropolitan area, these deaths would be unacceptable.’.

Each of the three practitioners emphasise the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and Health Workers in ensuring safe care for their patients and tell stories of memorable and rewarding experiences in their roles.

Tune in to this episode for a true glimpse into the life of practitioners who work on the road, in the clinic and everywhere in between to deliver health care to some of our most vulnerable, and special, communities.

Download and listen to the latest Ahpra Taking care podcast episode today. Ahpra releases a new episode every fortnight, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking Care’ in your podcast player.

For more information

  • If you have questions or feedback about the podcast, email [email protected]
  • For media enquiries, phone 03 8708 9200.
  • For registration enquiries, please phone 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 8708 9009 (overseas callers).

Page reviewed 16/06/2020