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ABSTRACT:

This article reports on a workshop in which the major focus was a review of the barriers that prevent access to the array of community-based services available to the rural elderly. The demographics of the elderly were outlined and key components of the service system described. Attention was given to access hospital-based care, the closing of hospitals and the reasons for bypassing rural hospitals for those in large towns or cities. Special emphasis also was given to mental health services and their uneven accessibility. A review of the policy implications closed the workshop.