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The 4th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium

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Making the most of rural and remote health research through collaboration

Given its focus on ensuring that rural and remote health research leads to changes in policy, it was appropriate that the 4th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium was held at Old Parliament House in Canberra on 2–3 September 2014.

It was an occasion when “data custodians” (an interesting term, much used throughout the 2 days) came together with rural and remote health consumers, service managers and researchers. With the National Rural Health Alliance as one of its organisers, the event was unashamedly focused on rural and remote health research and what it might do for health outcomes in those areas.

Members of the rural and remote health research sector are proud of what we have achieved. When it comes to providing specialist health services, there is an accepted dependence on large regional centres and metropolitan areas. But where research is concerned, there is an emotional and intellectual belief that the best work for rural and remote areas can only be done in those areas.

In the final session, several suggestions were made for inclusion in what might be seen as a plan of action:

  • regular meetings of the parties that attended the symposium would add value to the rural health research sector, particularly if they progressively include agencies responsible for data series relevant…