COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 15 October 2021, 8am (AEST)

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Regional and rural health is suffering

People who live in regional, rural and remote areas have poorer health than their metropolitan counterparts and also suffer from poorer access to health care.  The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found those living outside major centres have higher reported rates of chronic diseases, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. They have a higher incidence of low birth weight babies and poorer ante and post-natal health.  There’s also a greater prevalence of mental health problems.

Australia has plenty of doctors, but most are working in metropolitan areas, with 4.3 doctors per thousand people in the cities, compared to just 2.7 doctors per thousand in rural and remote areas.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to suffer poorer health outcomes than non-Indigenous Australians.  While there have been improvements in some areas of health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to have a lower life expectancy than non-Indigenous Australians and are at least twice as likely to rate their health as fair or poor. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are almost twice as likely to suffer from low birth weight and are more than twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday as non-Indigenous Australians.

JCU is committed to addressing the shortage of doctors in underserved regions by developing a skilled, fit for purpose health workforce in and for regional, rural and remote Australia. Find out more about how JCU is helping fill the gap of doctors in regional, rural and remote Australia.