The College is committed to increasing rural training opportunities; creating a more equitably distributed workforce; increasing our evidence base on rural issues, pivotal to improving regional and rural emergency care; and ensuring education and training opportunities are readily available for all our colleagues providing care to regional, rural and remote communities.

Regional, Rural and Remote (RRR) Committee

Over the last two decades, the ACEM Regional, Rural and Remote (RRR) Committee has been providing the ACEM Board and its councils leadership and advice regarding policies and standards for all aspects of emergency care in regional, rural and remote areas.

Acknowledging the challenges of health access and provision in rural areas, the committee is driving health equity and emergency care access in regional, rural and remote areas as a priority for the College.

The RRR Committee reports to the Council of Advocacy, Practice and Partnerships (CAPP).

The role of the RRR Committee is to:

  • provide leadership and advice to CAPP and other ACEM entities regarding policy and standards for all aspects of emergency care in regional, rural and remote areas;
  • advise CAPP, the Council of Education and the ACEM Board on issues relating to the recruitment and retention of Fellows of the College to regional and rural areas;
  • advise CAPP, the Council of Education (COE) and any other ACEM entities, as applicable, on issues relating to the recruitment, retention and training of College trainees in regional and rural areas;
  • provide comment and advice to CAPP on those aspects of healthcare delivery (such as administration, nursing, retrieval medicine and pre-hospital care) that impact on the provision of emergency care in regional, rural and remote areas; and
  • liaise with other organisations and colleges on issues of common ground, as deemed necessary and directed by CAPP and/or the ACEM Board.
RRR Committee Members

The Committee’s current members are:

  • Niall Small – Chair
  • Juan Ascencio-Lane – Deputy Chair
  • Stephen Gourley
  • Robert Worswick
  • Nicole Liesis 
  • Lucy-Anne Tolcher 
  • Christine Edwards
  • Joshua Mortimer 
  • Geetha Gokul Naidu
  • Stephen Hartwig
  • Rachael Luckie
  • Renee Pearman
  • Karly Field
  • Tim Baker
  • Roxanne Shahtahmasebi
  • Lauren Kennedy

Rural Health Action Plan

ACEM developed and launched the Rural Health Action Plan (RuHAP) in 2021. The RuHAP is the College’s strategic vision that brings together its work and embeds a focus on rural health across its operations. The Action Plan articulates the College’s role in addressing health equity in rural areas and aims to strategically coordinate work across the College to maximise the impact of the College’s work to improve health equity.

The development of the Action Plan was led by ACEM’s RRR Committee and overseen by CAPP. The plan was shaped by input from a wide range of ACEM committees, ACEM staff and individual members and trainees.

This is ACEM's first Rural Health Action Plan. It focuses on building the foundations for understanding how best to strengthen emergency medicine in regional, rural and remote areas, particularly workforce, research, collaboration and service provision, planning and development. We expect to develop another action plan for the year 2024 onwards that will build on these foundations and focus on the next stage in improving health equity in regional, rural and remote areas.

Access the RuHAP

Quality Standards and Toolkit

The Quality Standards for Emergency Departments and Hospital-Based Emergency Care Services provide guidance and set expectations for the provision of equitable, safe, and high-quality emergency care in EDs and other hospital-based emergency care services.

The Quality Standards were written to address the whole ED process, encompassing the patient experience from presentation to discharge, transfer or admission. With this in mind, all aspects of care and administration within the ED were considered in order to provide a comprehensive account of how an ED or hospital-based emergency care facility should operate.

There are specific quality improvement resources within the Quality Standards Toolkit.

Access the Quality Standards
Access the Quality Standards Toolkit

National Program

The National Program aims to address some of the big challenges facing emergency medical care across Australia, including improving the quality and distribution of the future emergency medicine workforce. It includes a range of projects, facilitated by ACEM and funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health's Specialist Training Program.

Read more about the National Program

Better Mental Health in Rural EDs

The Mental Health in Rural Emergency Department (MHrED) project is a purpose-built website that will provides health professionals in rural areas with guidelines, articles, tools and resources to assist staff providing emergency care in RRR areas with increasing their competence and confidence with assessing and managing patients who present with mental health issues. This site aligns with the broader Quality Standards and link to a number of relevant mental health guidelines and initiatives within the College.

Access the project website

Digital Learning Resource

This mini digital learning resources in this course are designed to progress the knowledge and skills of trainees, ACEM members and other health professionals for the practice of RRR emergency medicine in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Access the learning resources