The Australian Government is providing a $1.5 million grant to Outback Futures to trial an innovative project to improve access to allied health professionals in remote areas.
The Work-In Work-Out project brings professionals – such as psychologists, counsellors, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and social workers – into selected communities for regular in-person clinics, followed up by telehealth appointments.
It will focus on the five rural areas in central and western Queensland of Blackall-Tambo, Barcaldine, Longreach, Winton and Cloncurry.
The grant is part of a $24.7 million, four-year Australian Government investment under the Innovative Models of Care Program. The program trials new ways of delivering multidisciplinary primary care in rural and remote communities, to then evaluate whether they lead to better health outcomes.
Applications for further Innovative Models of Care grants will open in mid-2023 and late 2023.
This funding builds on $5.5 million already invested to fund innovative models of primary care in rural communities in New South Wales and Western Australia.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“All Australians deserve to have access to high-quality health care when they need it, but we know access is a major issue in rural and remote areas.
“The Innovative Models of Care Program will help us find effective ways to deliver primary health care to people who live outside of major centres to address distance and access issues, as well as workforce shortages.
“Outback Future’s Work-In Work-Out project has shown great promise, and I look forward to seeing the results of the trial.”
Quotes attributable to Senator Green:
"It is no secret that for those in rural and regional Australia accessing health care is not as easy as it is for those in major cities.
"This trial will go a long way in getting those much-needed health professionals into regional and rural Queensland.
"I look forward to seeing how the trial goes and I'm so proud to be part of a Government thinking about innovative ways we can get high-quality care to all Australians regardless of postcode."