The Rural Outreach Project
At Janssen we believe every patient should have the same access to treatment and support. Even when geography is against them. Which is why we're partnered with Arthritis Australia, Arthritis & Osteoporosis NSW and the Australian Rheumatology Association to create the Rural Outreach Program.
The program encourages city specialists to go bush to help GPs and their patients in regional NSW. While one third of Australians live in rural and remote areas, only 13% of rheumatologists are based outside capital cities.1
Since the initiative was launched in 2013, the Rural Outreach Project has provided local rheumatology services and medical education to patients and healthcare professionals living outside our cities. The results have been outstanding. The project has reduced waiting periods for specialist care by 70% and travel time by almost 90% for the patients involved.
But the benefits are far greater than time and kilometres travelled. The program has meant patients in remote communities now receive diagnosis and treatment much earlier. For inflammatory forms of arthritis early intervention is essential to ensuring better outcomes.
As part of the project, visiting rheumatologists delivered educational seminars for both consumers and healthcare professionals. Local allied health professionals shared the stage as co-presenters. Again the results were impressive. 93% of people attending the seminar said there had been an improvement in their understanding of arthritis and 75% intended to make positive changes as a result.
It’s all part of Janssen’s commitment to see patients in rural areas receive the same standard as care as their city counterparts. It’s a challenge that’s almost as big as Australia itself. But it’s a challenge that Janssen and its partners are rising to meet.
1. Find a rheumatologist. Sydney: Australian Rheumatology Association: Available from URL:http://www.rheumatology.org.au/otherpages/search.asp