A new rural allied health training initiative led by The University of Western Australia, in collaboration with the WA Country Health Service, has received more than $5 million to boost training opportunities in rural and remote WA for up-and-coming nurses and allied health professionals.
Professor Sandra Thompson, Director of the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health, Professor Rhonda Clifford, from UWA’s School of Allied Health, and Kathryn Fitzgerald, Senior Lecturer at Western Australian Centre for Rural Health, welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement, which will deliver training in allied health and aged care in Roebourne and Carnarvon.
“Carnarvon and Roebourne are remote towns located in the Gascoyne and Pilbara and this offers fantastic opportunities for allied health and nursing students to experience many aspects of rural life, working in communities that have longstanding health workforce needs,” Professor Thompson said.
“The Carnarvon initiative will help train the future nursing and allied health aged care workforce in partnership with WA Country Health Service’s new purpose-built 38 bed Residential Care facility Gnullingoo Mia as well as offering opportunities for greater support to meet the health needs of older people living in the community.
Image: Carnarvon Health Service campus.
“In Roebourne, the Remote Health and Social Care Training Hub will deliver authentic opportunities for allied health and nursing students to engage with remote communities and work alongside the health and social care workforce in the region.”
A grant of nearly $3 million will establish the Carnarvon Aged Care Training Program and a grant of about $2.2 million will create the Roebourne Remote Health and Social Care Training Hub.
“These grants enable us to develop student accommodation in Carnarvon and Roebourne, so students will be immersed in the respective communities with placements of several weeks,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
“Students’ experiences in rural and remote areas completely transform their thinking and understanding of health care delivery and the challenges for rural and Aboriginal people, and it changes and shapes their career plans.
“We see many of the students we train taking up jobs in rural and remote Western Australia - and that is a great outcome for everyone.”