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Paving the way for next-generation rural health professionals

The building blocks to grow the rural health workforce are one step closer with Maranoa MP David Littleproud welcoming the start of construction on the Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) training site in Charleville.

SQRH is a collaboration between the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), University of Queensland, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, and South-West Hospital and Health Service.

USQ Professor Glen Coleman, Executive Dean of the University’s Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, joined other dignitaries for an official sod-turning ceremony recently.

Mr Littleproud said the new training site would be great news for the South-West community, allowing nurse and health students who train there to provide more services closer to home.

“This hands-on experience for health students will give them valuable knowledge and skills to deal with health challenges in the bush and easy access to set up a career in a rural community,” he said.

“Boosting the rural health sector starts with giving better access to training in the bush, developing the next generation of health professionals and I’m glad that Charleville and the South-West community are able to benefit from this.

“Essentially this training site helps to bridge the urban-rural divide, paving the way for students from urban Australia to take this opportunity, challenge themselves and get involved with health in the bush and the local community.

“As the students develop their professional ability, the needs of residents from the South-West will be better understood and the next generation of health specialists will be there to support them.”

The SQRH training site in Charleville will include consulting rooms, a clinical education simulation room, tutorial and lecture rooms, telehealth studios and computer hubs to provide nurses and health care professionals with greater access to training in a rural setting.

The Australian Government provided $2.5 million through the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program to help build the facility.

“The Government remains committed to making sure all Australians, no matter where they live, benefit from a better distribution of the health workforce through rural training opportunities,” Mr Littleproud said.

“During the construction phase, local businesses will be sub-contracted, giving a boost to the region.”

6 people, three with shovels