Rural Health Outreach Fund

Rural Health Outreach Fund

The Rural Health Outreach Fund (RHOF) focuses on improving health outcomes for people living in rural and regional Victoria.

The scheme provides a flexible funding pool to support health professionals to deliver healthcare services in outreach locations by providing funding support to cover the basic costs of travel, accommodation, meals and other associated expenditure.

Outreach funds are not to cover the costs of a salary. It is supplementary funding to support a health professional to provide outreach services and Medicare billing should be claimed where possible.

The priorities include: maternal and paediatric, mental health, chronic disease management and eye care for these communities.

The objectives of the fund are to:

  • Provide both public and private outreach health services that address prioritised community needs.
  • Broaden the range and choice of health services available in regional, rural and remote locations.
  • Remove the financial disincentives that create barriers to service provision


Service Delivery of RHOF:

During the previous financial year 2018-19, RWAV had a total of 1,994 visits across Victoria with 39,782 clients seen of which 964 were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

In the current funding round of 2019-20, RWAV will provide Specialists, GPs, Allied Health and Nurses across the three Primary Health Network with over 300 services across over 100 locations.

The importance of asking clients if they identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

There are significant numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders living in rural and regional communities across Victoria and we want to ensure that outreach services accessed by these clients are culturally safe and appropriate to their needs. Currently, only 1% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are accessing rural health services provided by Outreach. This is why it is important to ask clients if they identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

RWAV encourages all Outreach service providers to “Ask the Question”, to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders community members the opportunity to access the care they need, at the right time, without having to travel long distances. Cultural training workshops are facilitated six times a year across Victoria to support Outreach Service Providers. Contact to find out more.

There are a number of resources that can help you Ask the Question including the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare One simple question could help you Close the Gap and the Inner North West Primary Care Partnership Asking the Question Training Pack.

For more information contact

Working as a Rural Health Outreach Fund