Government Committed to Rural Training for Health Professionals
Rural and regional areas will continue to benefit from a commitment by the Australian Government to facilitating training for medical students and specialists in regional Australia.
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10 August 2012
Rural and regional areas will continue to benefit from a commitment by the Federal Government to facilitating training for medical students and specialists in regional Australia.
“Through a range of funding programs the Government continues to provide funding for extensive new living accommodation for medical students across regional Australia and the upgrade and redevelopment of medical centres to provide the clinical space for them, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, said today.
Opening the National University Rural Health Conference in Creswick, near Ballarat in Victoria, Ms King said that for too long, medical specialist and student training has been primarily located in city-based hospitals.
“The Australian Government’s health reforms are now making possible new kinds of training for highly skilled medical people – in the areas where their skills are needed most, including rural areas in particular.
“Delivery of a high-quality, well-distributed health workforce is a priority for the Government.”
Ms King said the Government appreciated the role of the conference’s organisers, the National Rural Health Students Network, in supporting and representing medical, allied health and nursing students – and in promoting rural health careers.
“Fixing health workforce shortages, particularly in rural and remote areas, is a key priority. The Government is addressing this by recruiting, retaining and training more doctors, nurses, dentists and allied health workers,” she said.
The Australian Government was a major sponsor of the conference – investing $286,000 to bring together its 200 delegates from all parts of Australia.
The National Rural Health Students network is the peak body for more than 9,500 medical, nursing and allied health students interested in rural and remote health.
Its members come from Rural Health Clubs in 29 universities around Australia.
The clubs promote the benefits of undertaking rural practice – including rural high school visits to promote health courses, speaker nights, workshops, scholarship nights and social events.
Ms King also called on all health care professionals to familiarise themselves with the roles of Medicare Locals – the primary health organisations established to coordinate local and primary health care delivery for the benefit of patients.
“Rural areas will benefit strongly from the Medicare Locals, as they’ll work with general practice, allied health, community healthcare providers and Local Hospital Networks to ensure services are better tailored to meet the needs of local communities,” she said.
For more information, contact the Parliamentary Secretary’s office on 02 6277 4230
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