Appointment Of National Rural Health Commissioner

Department of Health

Professor Jenny May AM has been appointed Australia’s National Rural Health Commissioner.

The National Rural Health Commissioner provides health policy advice and advocates for reforms which support better access to safe, quality and affordable health care in rural, regional and remote Australia.

Professor May brings a wealth of experience to the role of commissioner after working on the ground as a rural GP for more than 35 years in rural, regional and remote WA, NT and NSW as well as overseas in rural Canada.

With 20 years in health education, Professor May has also taught Australia’s medical, nursing and allied health students of the future. Professor May has significant research expertise in health workforce matters and is currently the Director of the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health based in Tamworth.

Professor May received the Order of Australia in 2016 for significant service to community health in rural and regional Australia as a general practitioner, to professional medical groups, and to education.

Professor Jenny May will commence as the National Rural Health Commissioner on 2 September 2024 (until 30 June 2026). An Acting National Rural Health Commissioner will be appointed for the period between July and September 2024.

The Government thanks Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart, outgoing commissioner, for her leadership, commitment and passion for the health of Australians in rural and remote areas over the last four years.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“Making sure all Australians have access to quality, affordable and safe health care is an Albanese Government priority.

“The Government welcomes the appointment of Professor Jenny May to the role of National Rural Health Commissioner.

“Jenny’s experience, expertise and drive will help continue the reforms necessary to build better models of care suited to the needs of people living outside of our cities.

“We are strengthening Medicare and rolling out important health reforms to make sure that no matter where people live in Australia they can get the right care, at the right time, by the right team.

“On behalf of the Government I thank outgoing commissioner, Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart, for her work to make sure the voices of rural, regional and remote Australians were amplified and listened to when it comes to their health services.”

/Media Release. View in full here.