Celebrating another decade of progress in rural health: What is the current state of play?


  • John S. Humphreys BA(Hons), DipEd, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Rural Health, Monash University, Bendigo, Victoria
    2. Centre of Research Excellence in Rural and Remote Primary Health Care
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  • Gordon Gregory BA(Hons), MPhil

    1. Executive Director, National Rural Health Alliance, Deakin West, ACT, Australia
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Professor John S. Humphreys, Monash University School of Rural Health, PO Box 666, Bendigo, Victoria 3552, Australia. Email: john.humphreys@monash.edu


The Australian Journal of Rural Health is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Following a review of the first decade of rural health published by the authors in 2002, this article outlines and reviews the range of policies that have impacted upon rural health in Australia since then. During the past decade there has been a raft of new policies and programs designed to bring about improved rural health outcomes, and some progress has been made. However, a number of significant barriers to overcoming the rural-urban health differential remain. Special consideration will continue to be needed to rural affairs generally and to health system reform and rural health in particular.