Evans, R and Veitch, C and Hays, RB and Clark, M and Larkins, S, Rural maternity care and health policy: Parents' experiences, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 19, (6) pp. 306-311. ISSN 1440-1584 (2011) [Refereed Article]
Copyright 2011 National Rural Health Alliance
Objective: To explore rural residents' experiences of access to maternity care with consideration of the policy context.
Design: This paper describes findings from focus groups with parents which formed part of case study data from a larger study.
Setting: Four north Queensland rural towns.
Participants: Thirty-three parents living in one of the four rural towns.
Main outcome measures: Identifying prevalent themes in case studies regarding rural parents' expectations and experiences in accessing maternity care.
Results: Parents desired a local, safe and consistent maternity service. Removing or downgrading rural services introduced new barriers to care for rural residents: (i) increased financial costs; (ii) family issues; and (iii) safety concerns.
Conclusions: Although concerns about rural residents' health status and health care access have received significant policy attention for over a decade, many of the problems which prompted these policy initiatives remain today. Current policy approaches should be re-evaluated in order to improve rural Australians' access to vital health services such as maternity care.
|Item Type:||Refereed Article|
|Keywords:||case study, health access, north Queensland, policy|
|Research Division:||Health Sciences|
|Research Group:||Health services and systems|
|Research Field:||Health and community services|
|Objective Group:||Evaluation of health and support services|
|Objective Field:||Evaluation of health outcomes|
|UTAS Author:||Hays, RB (Professor Richard Hays)|
|Web of Science® Times Cited:||9|
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