Meeting the primary healthcare needs of small rural communities: lessons for health service planners

D J Russell, J S Humpreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The struggle of many small rural and remote communities to sustain comprehensive primary healthcare (PHC) services is an issue of global interest. Recent research has identified essential service requirements (workforce, funding, management, linkages, and infrastructure) and environmental enablers (supportive policies, Commonwealth and state/territory
relations, community readiness) associated with the provision of high-quality PHC services in these communities. However, little is known about how best to expand the provision of core high-quality PHC services to the many small and diverse non-metropolitan communities that currently lack them. This study investigates the transition of an integrated model of PHC service delivery, which
provided PHC services to a single community, to a rurally ‘networked’ model of PHC delivering PHC to multiple communities. It seeks to enhance understanding of the factors and processes enabling and impeding successful PHC service expansion into small rural communities. Salient lessons for other rural health services seeking to expand into neighbouring small rural communities are
Original languageEnglish
Article number3695
Number of pages12
JournalRural and remote health [electronic resource].
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Primary Healthcare
  • Rural Communities
  • Health Service Planners

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