Premises and infrastructure

Premises and infrastructure

Many rural and remote general practices suffer from a dearth of appropriate infrastructure, both physical and digital. The impacts of inadequate premises are well known, and with many GPs having to work within ageing or degraded facilities, the flow on effects to the operation of practices are real. As list sizes increase, some rural practices have reported difficulties in treating their patient population within the confines of their current, often ageing, practices. Urgent investment in IT infrastructure is required to improve interoperability, accessibility and the reliability of clinical systems. IT infrastructure in rural and remote practices generally lags behind urban practices. There is concern that the lack of adequate digital infrastructure available to practices in remote and rural areas, where broadband speed and mobile signal may be poor, has contributed to a new “digital Inverse Care Law” with the use of new and enhanced IT services most accessible to those with least medical need. An appropriately wide-ranging inquiry into the state of IT and physical infrastructure in remote and rural practices would enable a thorough examination of the needs of these practices and identify the upgrades that are needed on a broad scale to serve the needs of both patients and clinicians.


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