Healthy future ahead for rural medical network

Improvement in local health services and training facilities is one of the benefits of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy announced in the 2018-19 Federal Budget.

RDA Orana chairman John Walkom was pleased with the amount of investment in rural health facilities which will in turn improve the level of service
offered to patients.

“The University of Sydney’s School of Rural Health (Dubbo) has been included in the Murray Darling Medical Schools Network,” he confirmed.

“The network will be established to provide end to end teaching in rural locations.

“Expanded and new junior doctor programs will mean that young doctors can staying working in the regions after graduation in supported positions.”

For the first time, students will also be able to undertake their entire medical studies in a regional area, with the Dubbo School of Rural Health
offering placements for first through to final year students.

“The Rural Primary Care Stream will provide funding for educational support for junior doctors (postgraduate years one to five) working and training
in rural primary care settings. It will encourage junior doctors to work in rural general practice, ensuring they are trained and supervised
to provide quality services.”

“Under the More Doctors for Rural Australia Program, Australian trained doctors will also be able to undertake private practice in rural and remote
areas, billing through Medicare.”

Aged care in rural, regional and remote areas is also set to be boosted with an investment of $146 million to improve access. This funding will
focus on building improvement and urgent maintenance, and expanding culturally appropriate aged care in indigenous communities.

Mr Walkom described the Federal Budget as a win for the Orana region.

“Upgrades to medical facilities and incentives for doctors to train and stay in these areas will ensure a brighter future for rural and regional
areas which have traditionally struggled to maintain a strong presence of health professionals.”/ENDS