Suitability of the multi-purpose service model for rural and remote communities of Australia

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Context: Multi-purpose services (MPS) as health care delivery models have been in existence in rural and remote areas of Australia for over 15 years. The services are designed to specifically address the needs of small rural and remote areas which are unable to sustain stand alone acute and aged care services due to small populations.
Issues: The objectives of the MPS model are to provide improved coordination and flexibility of health and aged care services which are responsive to community needs in a cost effective and efficient manner.This article provides an overview of the issues identified from the available literature that address the question of the MPS models' suitability to rural and remote communities. In order to achieve this, a literature review of 38 relevant articles was conducted. Common themes were extracted and major issues were identified. This article will then discuss significant aspects of the model in relation toits suitability and provide a critical opinion as to the successful implementation of this model.Conclusions: The literature available demonstrates that the MPS model is responsive to community needs and much needed flexibility of services. One of the benefits of the MPS is the ability to tailor it to individual community needs. Although small rural health services will struggle to remain financially viable the MPS model allows sharing of staff among services and some ability to gain economies of scale through the amalgamation of acute and aged care services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Health Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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