RMFN is a not for profit, non government organisation with around 900 members. It operates as an advisory group of the NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) and is an important support service that contributes to the recruitment and retention of medical and health professionals in rural NSW. This in turn assists RDN in its mission to improve the health status of rural NSW communities. Research has shown that retention is improved when families are supported and feel part of their community, and this is backed up by feedback obtained through RDN’s periodic GP workforce surveys.
RMFN supports the recruitment and retention of medical and health professionals in rural NSW by addressing the unique needs of their partners and families through, for example:
- Great family programs during RDN’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) conferences.
- Crisis assistance for rural doctors and their families who are stressed or ill.
- Meet & Greet gatherings.
- A friendship network to lessen feelings of loneliness and isolation experienced by some rural families. See the Bush Friends page for more information.
- Free membership to RMFN for partners and families of rural health professionals.
*For example: Kamien, M. (1998). Staying In or Leaving Rural Practice: 1996 Outcomes of Rural Doctors’ 1986 Intentions. The Medical Journal of Australia, 169(6), 318–321; McGrail, M. R., & Humphreys, J. S. (2015). Geographical mobility of general practitioners in rural Australia. Medical Journal of Australia 203(2), 92–7, doi: 10.5694/mja14.01375.