Rural and Remote Medical Services Ltd (RaRMS), is NSW’s, if not Australia’s, largest, non government funded, not-for-profit provider of general practice and secondary healthcare (in-hospital GP/Visiting Medical Officer) services in rural and remote locations.
Established in 2001, RaRMS operates the “Easy Entry, Gracious Exit” model of general practice, ie the “Walk in-walk out” approach. RaRMS has grown considerably in recent years from its humbling beginnings, to an organisation with an operating budget of $13million, and now provides vital primary and secondary health care health services in 13 rural/remote towns across NSW. RaRMS employs some 120 people, engages 25 permanent GP/VMOs and provides health services to some 28,000 individual patients each year, including 5,835 Indigenous patients.
Spanning the Hunter, Central West, Remote NW and Southern NSW regions, and with a head office in Newcastle, RaRMS operates in some of the most socially and geographically challenging communities in NSW. This includes three of the Local Government Areas which feature in the top 10 towns of socio-economic disadvantage. Brewarrina, Walgett and Coonamble Shires are ranked 1, 3 and 5 respectively according to Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) data released from the 2011 Census and RaRMS operates in all three of those Shires. Ensuring our communities have access to bulk-billed GP services wherever possible (ie no-out of pocket GP costs) across a very sparse population is expensive, challenging, yet equally rewarding knowing we are making a significant positive impact to the health and wellbeing of those communities. We don’t actively seek out public recognition for the work we do, however our medical centre in Walgett was named “RACGP General Practice of the Year in Australia and NSW/ACT in 2009”, and our medical centre in Warren was recently named “Shire Business of the Year” for 2016.
Our organisation is governed by an experienced and capable Board of Directors with a diverse range of experience. They are supported by passionate and dedicated management team. We are ISO9001:2015 accredited and have sound, robust administrative systems in place to ensure we are able to provide the most efficient and effective support to our rural and remote medical centre teams and communities
RaRMS is discussing solutions with a number of NSW vulnerable rural communities and is available to any rural community who are seeking assistance.
For an account of the RaRMS early experiences in Walgett and Lightning Ridge, visit the RDN website and download the Easy Entry, Gracious Exit booklet.
Download RaRMS brochure: About RaRMS (Rural and Remote Medical Services).