Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program

The RHMT program offers health students the opportunity to train in rural and remote communities via a network of training facilities. It aims to improve the recruitment and retention of medical, nursing, dental and allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia.

About the program

The RHMT program offers health students the opportunity to train in rural and remote communities via a network including:

  • rural clinical schools (RCSs)
  • university departments of rural health (UDRHs)
  • dental faculties offering extended rural placements
  • the Northern Territory Medical Program
  • 26 regional training hubs that build medical training pathways within a region and guide students and trainees.

See the RHMT program framework for more about its requirements.

Why it is important

There are relatively fewer health professionals in rural and remote Australia compared with the rest of the country. This affects the health and wellbeing of people who live in rural and remote areas.

Health students who undertake extended training in a rural area, and those from a rural background, are more likely to take up rural practice when they graduate.

Supporting high-quality rural health training is an effective way for us to address gaps in the rural and remote health workforce.

Goals

The program aims to improve the recruitment and retention of medical, nursing, dental and allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia.

Meeting our goals

The RHMT program meets its goals by:

  • providing effective rural training experiences for health students
  • developing an evidence base for the efficacy of rural training strategies in delivering rural health workforce outcomes
  • supporting rural health professionals to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • increasing the number of health and medical students who come from rural areas
  • maximising the investment of program funds in rural, regional and remote areas to maintain well-supported academic networks
  • creating networks and rural clinical training experiences that encourage students to remain in the community when they complete their training.

The program also supports metropolitan dental schools to offer extended clinical placements in rural areas.

Status

The RHMT program funds 21 universities which have created a national network of RCSs and UDRHs.

A recent independent evaluation of the RHMT found that:

  • long-term RCS placements have tripled since the early 2000s
  • between 2016 and 2018, more than 30% of Australian Government-supported medical students spent a year or more at an RCS
  • UDRH-supported nursing and allied health placements have grown from around 3,000 per year in 2004 to more than 13,000 in 2018
  • graduates with the most rural clinical placement student experience (average of 20 weeks) were working more in regional, rural and remote Australia.

Increasing rural medical training – Sector stakeholder briefing

We held an online sector stakeholder briefing on 12 May 2023 with the Department of Education about increasing rural medical training.

This briefing included information on an upcoming competitive grant round for 80 commencing medical Commonwealth supported places (CSPs)

This initiative includes more than $81 million in funding to expand rural medical clinical training placements.

We invited universities to send questions ahead of the briefing session. You can still raise questions during the application period through GrantConnect. 

Learn more by viewing the webinar below and visiting the forecast opportunity on GrantConnect.

Increasing rural medical training – Sector stakeholder briefing

We held an online sector stakeholder briefing on 12 May 2023 with the Department of Education about increasing rural medical training. This briefing included information on an upcoming competitive grant round for 80 commencing medical Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs).

Contact

For more information about the RHMT program, contact:

  • participating universities (if you are a student)
  • our national office (for general enquiries).

Participating universities

The table lists participating universities and their associated rural training facilities.

Using the table

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The table lists participating universities and their associated rural training facilities.

 

UniversityStateRural clinical school (RCS)University department of rural health (UDRH)Regional training hub (RTH)Dental training site
The University of AdelaideSAAdelaide RCS Eyre Peninsula and Spencer Gulf RTHAdelaide Dental School
Australian National UniversityACTANU RCS South East NSW RTH 
Charles Sturt UniversityNSW Three Rivers UDRH  
Curtin UniversityWACurtin Medical School Rural Health Campus RCS of Western Australia (partnership with the University of Western Australia)   
Deakin UniversityVicDeakin Rural Clinical SchoolDeakin Rural HealthWestern Victoria RTH 
Flinders UniversityNT, SANT Medical Program Rural and Remote Health SAUniversity Department of Rural health (UDRH), Northern TerritoryCentre for Remote Health NTNorthern Territory RTH; Limestone Coast/Riverland RTH 
Griffith UniversityQldGriffith RCS  Griffith dental training site
James Cook UniversityQldJames Cook University RCSMount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote HealthNorth Queensland RTH 
La Trobe UniversityVic La Trobe Rural Health School  
The University of MelbourneVicThe University of Melbourne Rural Clinic SchoolsUniversity of Melbourne Department of Rural HealthGoulburn Valley RTHUniversity of Melbourne Dental School
Monash UniversityVicMonash University RCSMonash School of Rural HealthGippsland and North West Victoria RTH 
The University of NewcastleNSWPeel, Manning and Tablelands RCSUniversity of Newcastle Department of Rural HealthNorth West NSW RTH 
University of New South WalesNSWUniversity of New South Wales Rural Clinic School UNSW Medicine Regional Training Hubs 
The University of Notre Dame AustraliaNSW, Vic, WALithgow, Ballarat and Wagga Wagga clinical schools RCS of Western Australia (partnership with the University of Western Australia)Majarlin Kimberley UDRHRiverina RTH 
The University of QueenslandQldUQ RCSSouthern Queensland Rural HealthUQ Regional Training HubsUQ Rural Dental Clinics
University of South AustraliaSA UniSA Department of Rural Health  
The University of SydneyNSWUniversity of Sydney School of Rural HealthUniversity Centre for Rural Health; Broken Hill University Department of Rural HealthWestern NSW; Far West NSW; Northern NSW RTHUniversity of Sydney School of Dentistry
University of TasmaniaTasUniversity of Tasmania Rural Clinical SchoolUniversity of Tasmania Centre for Rural HealthTasmanian RTH 
The University of Western AustraliaWARCS of Western AustraliaWestern Australian Centre for Rural HealthUWA Rural Training HubsUWA Dental School
Western Sydney UniversityNSWWestern Sydney University Rural Clinical Schools   
University of WollongongNSWUniversity of Wollongong School of Medicine Clarence Valley Regional Training Hub (RTH) - University of Wollongong – UOW (shared with University of Sydney) 
Date last updated:

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