Allied health service–learning student placements in remote northern Australia during COVID-19

Narelle Campbell, Kylie Stothers, Lindy Swain, Alice Cairns, Ella Dunsford, Ruth Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Abstract

Allied health services play a critical role in preventing and managing the disabling consequences of disease and injury,1 which occur at disproportionately higher rates in northern Australia than for Australia as a whole.2 Northern Australia supports a population of only 1.3 million people widely dispersed across 3 million square kilometres over a varied and often harsh geographical environment (cyclones, flood, high temperatures). The region includes the whole of the Northern Territory, and those parts of Western Australia and Queensland that are north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The northern Australian population includes over 190 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (~30% of Australia's Indigenous population,3 most of whom live in remote communities). Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people have significantly poorer health status than the non‐Indigenous population,4 which makes them more vulnerable to the health and well‐being impacts of disasters, including pandemics, both as individuals and as a community. Its vast size, small population and limited infrastructure mean that health service delivery in northern Australia is characterised by travel over vast distances.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Early online date27 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • student placements
  • remote northern Australia
  • COVID‐19
  • Allied health services
  • Northern Australia Research Network
  • Indigenous Allied Health Australia

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