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Rural maternity care and health policy: Parents' experiences


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 Statement

Copyright 2011 National Rural Health Alliance

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1440-1584.2011.01230.x


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 Details

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 Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health outcomes
UTAS Author:Hays, RB (Professor Richard Hays)
ID Code:95026
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:9
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-09-23
Last Modified:2017-11-29

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