Rural Health Strategy

The Rural Health Strategy sets the direction for improving the health and wellbeing of people who live in rural communities.

Our vision is for all people living in rural communities to live long and healthy lives – supported by a health system that meets the varied needs of these communities.

The strategy draws on the strengths and knowledge of rural whānau and communities to achieve pae ora​

Why a Rural Health Strategy?

Rural communities’ health needs are often under-served, particularly in relation to accessing health services. Remote communities and rural Māori feel this even more acutely.

The health system has not adequately considered the different needs of rural communities in funding and planning health services, and has not monitored their health outcomes.

Addressing the imbalance

This strategy is a reset to help address this imbalance. It is the first time that Aotearoa New Zealand has had a Rural Health Strategy.

Access to health care within their community, or being supported to access care from outside their community, were key issues for rural communities. To improve access and rural health outcomes we need to better value the rural health workforce, and have frameworks that support them to meet the broader needs in rural communities.

Five priorities

  • Considering rural communities as a priority group​ 
  • Prevention, paving the path to a healthier future​ 
  • Services are available closer to home for rural communities ​ 
  • Rural communities are supported to access services at a distance​ 
  • A valued and flexible rural health workforce​ 
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