Additional training for regional workforce

The Marshall Liberal Government has today announced a further round of training initiatives aimed at building a stronger health workforce across regional South Australia.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the State Government is committed to improving health services for regional communities.

“We are pleased to announce further training, recruitment and retention initiatives as part of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy (RHWS) to improve the level of care across the state,” Minister Wade said.

“More than $300,000 will be used to increase training opportunities for nurses and midwives, allied health staff, and community support workers, as well as encouraging the recruitment of junior doctors to our regions.

“We are empowering our staff to make the best decisions for their patients and we are investing in them to better support the health and wellbeing of all South Australians.”

The State Government has made a $20 million commitment to develop the rural workforce over four years, with a $2.9 million investment in the 2018-19 financial year.

Investments announced today include:

· $107,360 to train community support workers in community-based aged care and disability programs

· $80,000 for rural community nurses to manage more complex clients

· $74,867 for additional training programs for nursing and midwifery staff

· $35,392 for dental workshops to highlight the benefits of rural dental careers

· $21,000 to expand the skills of the allied health workforce in caring for older people

· An additional $7,000 for a public campaign to attract junior doctors to work in the regions

These initiatives have been identified as priorities by the Rural Health Workforce Strategy Committee, which brings together clinicians, universities, training agencies, professional associations, workforce agencies and community representatives from across the state.

Country Health SA’s Executive Director Medical Services, Dr Hendrika Meyer, said the extra training will help attract, recruit and retain quality staff to provide care closer to home.

“It is vital that regional communities have the same access to high quality health services as metropolitan areas,” Dr Meyer said.

“Our staff will be supported to continuously improve their skills through this additional training to care for our regional communities.

“We are working in collaboration with key stakeholders and the RHWS Steering Committee to develop the Rural Health Workforce Plan.”

Workshops will be held over the next 12 months to develop the Rural Health Workforce Plan with clinicians, health staff, and community members.

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