I watch the Angel Flights adds and my heart goes out to all those people who live such long distances from the services we take for granted when we live close to capital cities
So this recent post from Bessie at Burragan certainly pulled my heart strings. Bessie is one of the Art4Agriculture AWI Wool Young Farming Champions. Bessie is also a journalist and a farmer (and farmer’s wife), living and working on a sheep property in far-western NSW.
Our place “Burragan” is 110km from the nearest town, 200km from the nearest supermarket, and 330km from the nearest major centre – Broken Hill. When I’m not out in the paddock helping with sheep work, I like to write, keep up with global issues, and uncover the strange secrets of our beautiful bush landscape.
Bessie also does the media releases for Art4Agriculture ( and what a phenomenal job she does) so I am in touch with her pretty regularly so I was aware that
In just the last few months (we have travelled ……more than 15,000 (make no mistake about the number of zeroes in that number) kilometres … to the city, because our “lifestyle” means we live so far away from its necessary services.
Australians have long regarded life in the country as healthier than life in the city. Australian
city-dwellers move to rural areas for health benefits such as clean air and reduced traffic
congestion. However, people living in rural and remote Australia have many health disadvantages compared with their urban counterparts and statistics confirm that Australia’s rural and remote populations have poorer health than their metropolitan counterparts. They have higher mortality rates and consequently lower life expectancy. See full report here
Life-expectancy varies with geographic location. Those living in ‘capital cities’ can expect to live longer than their counterparts living in remote zone, and to a lesser extent, those living in rural areas. This is a reflection of the lower death rates for those living in ‘capital cities’ compared to those living in rural and remote areas. Demographic statistics indicate that:
• rural females can expect to live 80.8 years, only 0.4 years less than females living in ‘capital cities’
• males living in the rural zone can expect to live 74.7 years, compared to those living in ‘capital cities’ who can expect to live 75.6 years
• males living in ‘other remote areas’ can expect to live 71.5 years, 4 years less than their
‘capital cities’ counterparts
• females living in ‘other remote areas’ can expect to live 77.4 years, almost 4 years less than females from ‘capital cities’.
According to the Daily Telegraph.
The National Rural Health Alliance has quantified the cost of the health inequity at $2.4 billion a year.
Rural residents get 12.6 million fewer Medicare services, 11 million fewer prescription medicines and $800 million a year less dental and allied health care.
As a result they are 30 per cent more likely to end up in hospital as a result of an avoidable cause than city dwellers.
This inequity in spending and services has a calamitous human impact that is cutting short the lives of those who life outside our capital cities.
It is clear there is an inequity in spending and service and this should be addressed sooner rather than later. I certainly don’t have all the answers but you must all agree that people like Bessie deserve the very best and it is imperative we lobby our politicians to keep searching for them and ensure when the solutions are found that they make every effort to rectify the problems
Here is an example of a very positive step in the right direction Rural Placements improve medical students attitudes in country practice