RACS acknowledges its social responsibility to address health inequity, through its levers of selecting, training, retaining and collaborating for rural surgical services and rural communities. It’s well known that rural people have poorer health outcomes than urban people. They have all kinds of surgical problems which need the care of all kinds of surgeons. The RACS Rural Health Equity Strategy aims to improve health equity for Remote, Rural and Regional/Provincial people in Australia and New Zealand. The strategy embeds actions for rural health equity in all RACS activities and across all specialties. The strategy addresses the goals to:
- increase the rural surgical workforce and reduce workforce maldistribution, through the Select for Rural, Train for Rural and Retain for Rural strategies.
- build sustainable surgical services in Australia and New Zealand, through the Collaborate for Rural strategy.
The Rural Surgery Section committee were instrumental in developing this key RACS strategic action plan. RACS Council has approved the implementation of the overarching strategy for rural health equity across all RACS portfolios as well as establishing a Rural Health Equity Steering Committee for managing the principles outlined in the action plan and prioritising the actions for implementation.