Rural health industry to rate parties' policies

THE rural health industry will rate the major political parties on what they plan to do to improve the health of Australians living outside of the major cities when it reveals its election platform on Wednesday.

As part of the platform, the National Rural Health Alliance has set up an election scorecard to rate the Labor, Coalition and Greens policies on rural health.

It will compare policies to 35 questions on everything from mental health and aged care to the rural health workforce and Closing the Gap initiatives.

The Alliance of more than 30 health organisations will launch its policy in Canberra, aiming to secure real commitments from politicians.

An election charter said one in three Australians lived outside of the major cities, and there was "no justification for them having a lower average life expectancy".

The alliance has found a $2 billion shortfall in spending on rural health nationwide and has called for recent investments not to be squandered.

More details are expected to be released at the policy launch on Wednesday.

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