26 September 2023

Plan to boost regional health workforce

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The expansion of the State’s regional health workforce and support for hardworking health professionals to deliver essential healthcare services to rural and regional South Australians, are the focuses of a newly released Rural Health Workforce Strategy.

Announcing the launch of South Australia’s Rural Health Workforce Strategy 2018–2022, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade said the Strategy focussed on delivering a stronger and more sustainable rural health workforce in South Australia.

Mr Wade said priorities outlined in the Strategy included building a skilled rural health workforce; providing new and sustainable workforce models for rural healthcare settings; and delivering more connected and collaborative rural health services, which would further support the delivery of better patient care.

Chief Clinical Advisor for the Rural Support Service and Chair of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy Steering Committee, Hendrika Meyer said the Steering Committee had representation from regional local health networks, universities, peak bodies, medical colleges, training and workforce providers and the National Rural Health Commissioner.

“Since 2018, the Steering Committee has worked closely with health professionals and rural communities across South Australia to better understand the challenges and opportunities in providing health services in a rural setting,” Dr Meyer said.

“This collaboration and engagement ensured our plans and projects have been informed by the lived experiences of the rural workforce we seek to support and the communities we service,” she said.

Dr Meyer said that as part of the Strategy, six South Australia Rural Health Workforce Plans had been developed to date.

These were: SA Rural Medical Workforce Plan 2019-24; SA Rural SA Ambulance Service Workforce Plan 2020-25; SA Rural Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Plan 2021-26; SA Rural Allied and Scientific Health Workforce Plan 2021-26; SA Rural Aboriginal Health Workforce Plan 2021-26; and SA Rural Oral Health Workforce Plan 2021-26.

The 59-page Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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