With $20 million state government funding committed to the strategy from 2018-19 to 2021-22, the plan is focused on delivering a stronger and more sustainable rural health workforce in SA into the future, according to Health minister Stephen Wade.
"This investment has helped drive substantial increases in rural medical training positions in recent years, tripling from five full-time rural interns in 2019 to 19 this year," Mr Wade said.
"Fifty metropolitan interns are completing a rural GP rotation, which has more than doubled since 2020. Additionally, 17 rural GP registrars are completing their advanced skills training this year, up from five in 2020, and 13 in 2021.
Mr Wade said while the $20 million allocated in the first budget was allocated to a broad range of important initiatives, further funding will be invested in coming years due to the importance of the work.
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"These success stories are just the beginning. Priorities outlined in the RHWS focus on building a skilled rural health workforce, providing new and sustainable workforce models for rural healthcare settings, and delivering more connected and collaborative rural health services, which will further support the delivery of better patient care," he said
"We are doing everything we can to ensure the highest quality health care is available to all South Australians, no matter where they live."
Rural Health Workforce Strategy steering committee chair Hendrika Meyer said the committee had representation from regional local health networks, universities, peak bodies, medical colleges, training and workforce providers and the National Rural Health Commissioner.
"This collaboration and engagement ensured our plans and projects have been informed by the lived experiences of the rural workforce we seek to support and the communities we service," Dr Meyer said.
Under the leadership of the committee, six rural workforce plans have been developed to date, including:
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