Rural health training gets $54m boost
A $54 million Federal Government injection into rural health training has been welcomed by the peak national regional doctors body.
Under the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program $54.4 million has been allocated for new regional training hubs and university departments of rural health, one of which will cover the Pilbara and Kimberley.
Rural Doctors Association of Australia president Ewen McPhee said the funding would provide opportunities to build the rural medical workforce of the future.
“The funding is aimed at boosting clinical training in regional Australia by the way of 26 regional health training hubs and three new university departments of rural health,” he said.
“It is another important step towards addressing the mal-distribution of the medical workforce across Australia.
“This initiative, along with the announcement of the rural health commissioner, a national rural generalist pathway and the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund supporting general practice intern rotations, are all critical elements in what must be a multidimensional approach to addressing this very complex and challenging issue.”
Mr McPhee said rural work provided benefits to students and regional medical services.
“We know that experiencing quality training experiences in rural and remote areas plays a vital role in attracting health practitioners to the bush,” he said.
Assistant Health Minister David Gilliespie said training facilities were essential to the regional health workforce.
“Both of these initiatives of the coalition Government support high quality rural placements for health students from across Australia, to help ensure rural communities have access to doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in the future,” he said.