Junior doctors targeted in rural health promotion

Junior doctors targeted in rural health promotion

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RURAL health services could benefit from a round of training initiatives aimed at regional SA.

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RURAL health services could benefit from a round of training initiatives aimed at regional SA.

Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade said the state government was committed to improving health services for regional communities, including action to attract staffing to regional areas.

"We are pleased to announce further training, recruitment and retention initiatives as part of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy to improve the level of care across the state," he said.

"More than $300,000 will be used to increase training opportunities for nurses and midwives, allied health staff, and community support workers, as well as encouraging the recruitment of junior doctors to our regions.

"We are empowering our staff to make the best decisions for their patients and we are investing in them to better support the health and wellbeing of all South Australians."

The state government has made a $20 million commitment to develop the rural workforce over four years, with a $2.9m investment in the 2018-19 financial year.

Funding includes more than $100,000 to train community support workers in aged care and disability programs, $80,000 for rural community nurses, $75,000 for nursing and midwifery training programs and $35,000 for dental workshops highlighting the benefits of rural dental careers.

There has also been $7000 allocated for a public campaign to attract junior doctors to work in the regions.

These initiatives have been identified as priorities by the RHWS committee, which brings together clinicians, universities, training agencies, professional associations, workforce agencies and community representatives from across the state.

Country Health SA's medical services executive director Hendrika Meyer said the extra training would help attract, recruit and retain quality staff to provide care closer to home.

"It is vital that regional communities have the same access to high quality health services as metropolitan areas," Dr Meyer said.

"Our staff will be supported to continuously improve their skills through this additional training to care for our regional communities.

"We are working in collaboration with key stakeholders and the RHWS Steering Committee to develop the Rural Health Workforce Plan."

Workshops will be held across the next 12 months to develop the Rural Health Workforce Plan with clinicians, health staff, and community members.

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