Joint Media Release
The Hon. Dr David Gillespie MP
Assistant Minister for Rural Health
Mr Kevin Hogan MP
Member for Page
Health and medical students will have greater opportunities to undertake training and clinical placements at the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) in Lismore, New South Wales.
Federal Assistant Minister for Rural Health Dr David Gillespie today joined Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan to inspect the campus.
Minister Gillespie said the Coalition Government had made a record multi-million dollar investment to boost the availability of training and placement opportunities in regional areas to encourage the next generation of health professionals to live and work in rural, regional and remote Australia.
“As part of our Government’s announcement our investment in the University of Sydney’s rural health program, I can confirm we are allocating $51.7 million over three calendar years through the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program to support health training across a range of rural locations, including the UCRH in Lismore,” he said.
In 2015, 32 students undertook a long-term medical placement in Lismore, including at Lismore Base Hospital. In addition, last year the UCRH in Lismore supported 197 nursing and allied health students to undertake rural clinical placements of two weeks or more, equating to 1,283 placement weeks. Of these, 91 per cent were allied health students and 9 per cent were nursing students.
"This significant investment in the UCRH and facilities here in Lismore is testament to the fantastic work being delivered in the region. I would also like to congratulate the local Member Kevin Hogan. He has been an enthusiastic and ever-present advocate for the UCRH,” Dr Gillespie said.
“I want all Australians, whether they live in the bush or the city, to have access to first-rate health services.”
The University Centre for Rural Health North Coast is a joint venture between the University of Sydney, Western Sydney University, University of Wollongong and Southern Cross University, and operates in collaboration with the Northern NSW Local Health District.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the significant investment by the Coalition Government in the UCRH means better access to doctors, nurses and other health professionals for our community.
“The Government provides funding for the RHMT program to make it attractive for students to study and do their clinical practice outside of our major cities,” he said.
“The program is already getting results. The feedback I have received from students who are training here, is that they are considering moving to our community permanently.”
Around 50 students a year undertake a long-term medical placement in Lismore, including at Lismore Hospital. The Centre also supports about 500 nursing and allied health students to undertake a rural placement in the North Coast region each year.
Dr Gillespie said: “I’m particularly pleased to see that Lismore UCRH is developing an Aboriginal high schools program that will focus on bringing Aboriginal school children with an interest in a health career on board to expand their opportunities in health care and provide mentors.”
The $487.2 million RHMT program is a rural training initiative which supports a network of 18 rural clinical schools, 12 university departments of rural health and six dental schools offering extended rural dental placements. Its primary objective is to improve the geographic distribution of the health workforce.
For more information, contact the Minister's Office on 0435 686 313 or
Mr Hogan’s Office on 0428 173 114.