Regional health: trends in inequalities in health and wellbeing by remoteness, for Victoria

Urban and rural differences in service distribution, access, and health outcomes are challenges in many countries, with outcome indicators generally worse in rural and remote regions. In Australia, such differences or inequalities between ‘the city and the bush’ have been evident for many decades. As health services have been centralised in regional and metropolitan centres, the need to fund and deliver specific rural services to combat locational disadvantage has increased, resulting in a number of inventive rural outreach and mobile services, multipurpose centres with pooled funding, transport arrangements, training and incentives for rural health practitioners, and e-health services such as telemedicine.1 However, despite the introduction of these initiatives, the health needs of many Australian communities are still not fully met, and substantial differences in health outcomes for rural and remote populations remain. The paper was prepared from data supplied by State, Territory and Commonwealth Government agencies and published by PHIDU over a number of years in the Social Health Atlases. It will be updated from time to time, as new data become available.