Nurse Practitioners: Enriching Rural Health

Country Services WA’s innovative Nurse Practitioner program, funded by the Southern Inland Health Initiative (SIHI), delivers primary health to clients who would otherwise need to travel to access timely services. The service covers the state’s Central Great Southern region, as well as in Narrogin, Northam and the Eastern Wheatbelt. In the isolated towns of Shark Bay and Leeman, nurse practitioners are employed in Silver Chain’s Remote Health Centres and deliver emergency and primary health.

The aim of SIHI, funded by the WA Government’s Royalties for Regions program, is to improve medical resources and 24-hour emergency coverage in the southern inland area. Nurse practitioners employed by Silver Chain are part of the network of health professionals delivering services under the initiative. Their combined efforts enable clients with complex chronic health conditions to be supported by a nurse practitioner and GP, plus other allied health professionals. The outcomes are reduced hospitalisation and improved long-term health of communities.