The Federal Government has signed off on the creation of 26 Regional Training Hubs to encourage young doctors to undertake postgraduate training in regional areas.
Three new University Departments of Rural Health, including at Charles Sturt University, will provide rural training placements for nursing and allied health students.
La Trobe University Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Rob Pike, said the initiatives were an important way to address rural and regional health workforce shortages, but more needed to be done to keep doctors in the bush.
“Regional Training Hubs that increase postgraduate opportunities are a welcome step, but on their own they will not solve the ongoing rural and regional doctor shortage that is putting the health and wellbeing of country people at risk,” Dr Rob Pike said.
“In addition to postgraduate medical opportunities, we must boost undergraduate opportunities at rural universities. We must train regional students to become regional doctors and the way to do that is through the Murray Darling Medical School.
“The Murray Darling Medical School will help to ensure a strong flow of undergraduate students who are trained in, and want to work in, the regions. Building a pipeline of regionally trained undergraduate students who can then undertake high quality postgraduate training in our region is a tried and tested pathway to addressing doctor shortages in regional and rural areas.”
Charles Sturt University Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Vann, said the University was pleased to welcome the announcement by the Turnbull-Joyce Government.
“It is another important step in addressing doctor shortages in our footprint,” Professor Vann said.
“Both Charles Sturt and La Trobe Universities acknowledge that the MDMS is a National Party policy and we are looking forward to the conclusion of the EY review being undertaken by the Honourable Dr David Gillespie MP, Assistant Minister for Health, which will be a critical element of the government’s plan to ensure our communities have access to first class healthcare services.”
Media contact: Anastasia Salamastrakis 0428 195 464
Photo: Murray Darling Medical School