New unit set to strengthen rural medical workforce in SA

New unit set to strengthen rural medical workforce in SA

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Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

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Regional SA is set to benefit from a stronger medical workforce, due to the establishment of the new Rural Generalist Coordination Unit.

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Regional SA is set to benefit from a stronger medical workforce, due to the establishment of the new Rural Generalist Coordination Unit.

As part of the state government's Rural Workforce Health Strategy, the RGCU will focus on boosting rural training opportunities for clinicians, and will aim to deliver better health outcomes for patients in rural communities.

Health and wellbeing minister Stephen Wade said the RGCU would provide further support to health professionals in rural areas.

"We want to upskill and empower our country clinicians with the right skills to work in regional areas and this dedicated Coordination Unit is an important step in delivering the rural medical workforce we need for the future," he said.

At the moment, the RGCU has five advisors, who will work to provide advocacy and expertise to give practitioners a clear structure as to how they can train to be rural generalists in SA.

SA Health Rural Support Service chief clinical advisor Dr Hendrika Meyer said the RGCU will play a key role in recruiting rural generalist trainees, and will also deliver high-quality training program for junior doctors in rural and remote communities.

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"It is extremely important that we increase the number of highly trained and skilled GPs to be available in each regional Local Health Network so communities can receive high quality health care when and where they need it," Dr Meyer said.

"Importantly, as the work of the Coordination Unit evolves, the engagement with the regional Local Health Networks will be crucial to ensure we deliver a fit for purpose training program for health professionals across regional SA.

"The RGCU will work across both the hospital and GP-led primary care environment and will collaborate with the Colleges of General Practice RACGP and ACRRM, GPEx, the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency and SA universities to deliver improvements to rural medical training."

Dr Meyer has been named chair of the SA Rural Generalist Program Steering Committee, established to lead the development and implementation of the training program to ensure a coordinated approach.

A number of key representatives form the committee, such as rural medical education stakeholders, including the regional Local Health Networks.

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