Bush a breeding ground for health workers

HEALTH in the bush does not start and end with more doctors.
Nanjing Night Net

Just as important to the health sector these days are roles that may have been overlooked in the past, likeallied health professionals and nurses.

But it seems there isn’t huge opportunity for budding allied health workers to hit the bush for work, especiallycompared to the shiny lights of a big city.

A new report released bythe Rural Health Workforce is calling for betterpathways for nurses and allied health workers to practice regionally.The reportasksthe federal governmentto address the maldistributionof the country’s health workforce, suggesting marketing the diversity of rural practice as a good place to start.

Rural health workers are often exposed to a far greater range of experiencesthan their urban-based counterparts.

“There’s a prevailing perspective that somehow rural practice is sort of backwater and people are going to miss out,” Associate Professor Smith believes.

But he rightly argues that health workers in the bush are able to practice in a diverse range and that their work is highly valued.

The report also recommends better models of financial support for nurses and allied health students seeking rural placement,encouraging metropolitan universities to up their intake of health students from country backgrounds.

The incentives to work in the rural health sector need to be made clear to students and universities.

Tamworth has enviable health facilities, fromthe redeveloped hospital to the North West Cancer Centre,but we must do all we can to get the workforce and resources needed to cater for our growing population.

The report indicates Tamworth’s existing infrastructure and current training programs put the city in agood position to secure allied health workers.

Developing a structured rural graduate programfor allied health, similar to that offered for medicine and nursing, would be a good start to attracting them here.

There has been much talkaround health in the bush in recent weeks.

Two Tamworth psychologists last week metNew England MP Barnaby Joyce, health minister Sussan Ley and assistant rural health minister Dr David Gillespie in theirfight for better mental health resources under the current federal funding models in regional areas.It’s only fair rural and regional areas are given their fair share.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.