The creation of 100 new training places for medical students wanting to become rural generalists will be welcome news to many people living in country areas, according to local MP Darren Chester.
Mr Chester said the new training positions would help to address a critical issue in many small communities.
“One of Australia’s biggest health challenges is getting and retaining staff to work in our medical clinics and hospitals,” Mr Chester said.
“Rural generalists can provide GP services as well as emergency care and other specialist services in hospitals and the community, which is essential in places which don’t have access to non-GP specialists.
“I’m sure if we can give more rural generalists a taste of what it’s like to live and work in rural areas of Gippsland, they’ll want to stay and build their life here.
“There are the lifestyle advantages of living in a community located so close to the surf beach, the mountains and the Gippsland Lakes.”
Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton has announced 100 additional training places had been allocated to the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
Mr Coulton said research showed doctors who trained outside metropolitan areas were more likely to stay and work there at the completion of their training.
“I’m focused on addressing the maldistribution of doctors in the bush. This announcement further demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting more regional doctor training to better care for our regional, rural and remote communities,” Mr Coulton said.
“Expanding the training will ensure there is pipeline of rural generalists coming through to support a viable and sustainable workforce.
“Regional, rural and remote Australians deserve the same access to high quality health services as those who live in our capital cities.”
The announcement includes funding for an additional 100 GP training places for rural generalists in 2021. The new allocation builds on ACRRM’s current intake of 150 training places.