Abstract: Australia’s rural and remote populations have poorer health than their metropolitan counterparts with respect to several health outcomes. They have higher mortality rates and consequently lower life expectancy. They also experience higher hospitalisation rates for some causes of ill health. This report adopts an indicator-based approach to compare the health of rural and remote populations with that of metropolitan Australians. Mortality data, cancer incidence, hospital statistics, ABS 1995 National Health Survey risk factors, medical labour force statistics, and Medicare data have all been analysed using the three zone/seven category Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Area classification (RRMA). This classification was developed in 1994 jointly by the Department of Primary Industries and Energy and the then Department of Human Services and Health. The seven RRMA categories are ‘capital cities’ and ‘other metropolitan centres’ within the metropolitan zone, ‘large rural centres’, ‘small rural centres’ and ‘other rural areas’ within the rural zone, and ‘remote centres’ and ‘other remote areas’ within the remote zone.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare,, 1998, Health in rural and remote Australia: the first report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on rural health, Volume:AIHW Cat. No. PHE 6, Report, viewed 19 September 2019, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=13115.