CATCHing the Hearts of country SA – The future of Cardiac Rehabilitation as applied through the Country Access to Cardiac Health (CATCH) program

Mrs Inara Beecher1

1Country SA PHN, Nuriootpa, Australia


The provision of cardiac health services in remote areas of Australia has many challenges. It is a matter of health equity that residents of remote communities have access to quality evidence based services as close as possible to where they live.

There is very strong research which demonstrates that if a patient accesses a cardiac rehabilitation health professional soon after experiencing a cardiac event, they have a much better chance of reducing their risk of having a further cardiac event or even dying. For many rural and remote people, access to health professionals can be a struggle for routine care; cardiac services are often more difficult again.  It is very important that rural people receive cardiac services where their family and supports are located and that services are also culturally safe/appropriate.

The CATCH (Country Access to Cardiac Health) program enables those living in country South Australia access the same level of follow up support after a cardiac event as in metropolitan areas.

Country SA PHN, which exists to bridge the gap of health equity in regional & remote South Australia, has funded the CATCH program as part of efforts to prevent subsequent cardiac events and to reduce the number of preventable hospitalisations. The CATCH program was rolled out state-wide in February 2016 and monitoring of the program is demonstrating improved patient outcomes.

The CATCH program enables patients to be actively involved in managing their ongoing heart health, which is leading to their improved health outcomes, and an overall reduction in hospital re-admissions.

Case study examples will summarise the CATCH program and the benefits it is providing to rural and remote cardiac patients in SA. It will demonstrate the opportunities, challenges and  highlight future plans to further utilise technology, such as video conferencing,  for service delivery.




With more than 20 years of health care experience, 16+ in Primary Health Care, including a large amount of time in rural SA settings and time spent working closely with Aboriginal communities.  Inara is a Registered Nurse with direct health care experience across primary and acute care.

Fellow of the Leaders Institute of SA, Governor’s Leadership Foundation (GLF) program 2011, Inara is also a Certified Health Informatician Australasia (CHIA), has been Heart Foundation Nurse Ambassador and previous mentor for the University of South Australia Immunisation course.  Inara is very passionate about achieving positive health outcomes for the people of SA.