The impact of policy processes on children's access to healthcare in rural Australia

Julaine Allan, Patrick Ball, Margaret Alston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Children are deserving targets of healthcare policy. However, to make a difference to children's lives, health and welfare policy goals have to be translated into services. For children and families living in small Australian rural communities, access to assistance and support from health services is dependent on the administrative and technical detail of health policy. This paper reports the findings of a case study investigating health care in two small rural towns in New South Wales. The study takes a pragmatic and practical approach to identifying the impact of policy intent on improving the health of rural children. The study identified the way policy goals are translated into practice by interviewing three distinct groups; policy makers, policy implementers and policy recipients. The research found that health policy was not well costed, implemented or available to children who lived outside regional or metropolitan areas. There were limited avenues for children, parents or health workers to influence the policy development or implementation process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRural Child Health: International Aspects
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781608763573
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Allan, J., Ball, P., & Alston, M. (2010). The impact of policy processes on children's access to healthcare in rural Australia. In Rural Child Health: International Aspects (pp. 35-46). Nova Science Publishers.