The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA)
The Commonwealth Government removed the loading for after-hours care from Medicare in ??1987. This was unfair to doctors andit as particularly affected rural doctors who would often be called to attend patients in hospitals after hours. Some of the NSW doctors got together to oppose it. This resulted in a four month long "strike" (only attending patients after hours in the casualty departmnents if it were a true emergency) by NSW rural GPs. This action was highly successful, although it took a change of government. Following this, the rural Queensland doctors organised themselves as well. In 1991 a national body, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), was formed.
The RDAA was formed to represent the interests of rural medical practitioners in Australia. The vision is "for excellent medical care for rural and remote communities". They "are committed to building and maintaining a workforce of highly skilled and motivated rural medical practitioners. This requires adequate training and proper incentives, remuneration and support (both professional and personal)".
The RDAA is the national body and is represented on a state level by:
The RDAA hosted its first national conference in Toowoomba in 1992.
In 1997 the RDAA created the Australian College of Remote and Rural Medicine (ACRRM).
NB. The RDAA does not specifically represent general practitioners (GPs), but as the majority of doctors in remote and rural Australia are GPs, the organisation has a strong voice for rural GPs.