Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is ‘delighted’ the Whyalla’s Rural Clinical School campus will benefit from the federal government’s $28.5 million investment in Regional Training Hubs.
“This investment forms an essential component of the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline for Medicine helping to get more doctors and health professionals into regional Australia,” he said.
“The Adelaide University administrated Rural Clinical School in Whyalla will benefit from expanded funding under this announcement which will enable students to have longer study periods in Whyalla than under the current model.
“It is expected around $1 million extra will be targeted to the Rural Clinical School in Whyalla and benefit the sites in Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Kadina.
“Living in regional South Australia I am crucially aware of the impact felt in small communities when they lose health services.
“If these communities have no doctor it puts their hospital at risk and if they lose that, the entire community is affected.
“I am strongly concerned about maldistribution of doctors throughout our communities, I have written a paper outlining my views and welcome this funding as a good strategy to combat the problem.
“If doctors spend a significant period of their training in rural areas it will greatly contribute to the broadening of their skill base and it is hoped, greatly increase the likelihood of them practicing in the country when they graduate.
“Overseas trained doctors have been a stopgap and our system would have collapsed without them. However we are now training more than enough Australian doctors and we need to encourage our graduates to work in regional areas.
“Better coordination of medical training in regional SA will help us build the regional health workforce of the future.”
Under the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program, $54.4 million has been allocated over 2016-17 to 2018-19 for 26 new Regional Training Hubs and three University Departments of Rural Health.
“Our Government’s initiatives to support high quality rural placements for health students from across Australia, to help ensure regional and rural communities have access to doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in the future,” Mr Ramsey said.
“Supporting high quality regional and rural health training is an important way to address rural health workforce shortages.
“These initiatives will help the Coalition Government deliver on its commitment to provide first rate health and medical services to all Australians – regardless of where they live.”