Rural and Remote Medical Services Ltd (RARMS) is an Australian health charity established in 2001 to support vulnerable rural and remote communities to establish and operate community-based medical centres in their towns.
Over the last 20 years we have supported more than 15 communities to access reliable, safe and high-quality health and medical care delivered by doctors, nurses and health staff who live and work in these communities.
Without RARMS, these communities would not have access to high-quality primary health care locally and would have significantly higher rates of avoidable deaths and hospitalisation.
Despite working in 41 of Australia's most socially and economically disadvantaged communities (8 on-site and 33 by Telehealth) many of which experience very high rates of chronic disease, we do not receive any special funding from Government.
This has forced us to innovate in the provision of primary health care to ensure our communities receive the care they need and that our services are financially sustainable.
Using a charitable model we are able to focus on communities and patients ensuring our services are responsive to local needs. Unlike the majority of medical and primary health practices in Australia we are not a:
Corporate practice - often owned by city-based listed or private companies, they exist to make a profit for their shareholders.
Group practices - owned by the doctors that work in the practice these are small-medium sized businesses that are designed to generate revenue for their owners and are therefore limited in what they can afford to do for their patients.
Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services - these organisations receive special Government block funding and a priority focus on delivering services specifically to meet the needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.
Without RARMS, our communities would lose the jobs and economic activity created by local health services and would no longer be able to retain and attract the workforce that is critical to Australia's ability to sustain economic production in commodities - which represents 65% of Australia's export wealth.
RARMS is both a health services provider and an advocate for disadvantaged rural and remote communities. Our goal is to help communities to build sustainable health care that is responsive to their needs and priorities.
For more information about RARMS please click here.