Regional South Australians are receiving better care, closer to home, through the Marshall Liberal Government’s dedicated Allied Health Rural Generalist Training Pathway, an evaluation has revealed.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing said the pathway is strengthening the future of the regional allied health workforce, by upskilling graduate allied health professionals with the tools needed to care for regional patients.
“We know that for too long, regional South Australians have been neglected when it comes to accessing health care closer to home,” Minister Wade said.
“The Marshall Government’s vision is to strengthen and grow the rural health workforce by recruiting, training, developing and upskilling health professionals to better meet the health needs of communities both now and into the future.
“As part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $20 million Rural Health Workforce plan, 10 allied health trainees will complete their specialised study through the pathway over the next one to three years.
“An evaluation of phase 1 of the initiative has been positive, with early outcomes indicating the program will support trainees to work as more advanced rural generalist clinicians to better meet the needs of their local communities.
“Allied health services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, podiatry and speech pathology provide important every day support to patients, so we are determined to make sure that care is accessible in regional communities.”
Local Health Networks who have benefitted from the pathway so far include Eyre and Far North, Flinders and Upper North, Limestone Coast, Riverland Murray Coorong and Yorke and Northern.
SA Health’s Chief Clinical Advisor Rural Support Service, Dr Hendrika Meyer, said the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway will make a significant difference to patients living in regional South Australia.
“We know it is extremely important to boost the numbers of clinicians available across regional SA so communities can receive the care they need without having to travel,” Dr Meyer said.
“Through the training pathway, allied health trainees will extend their knowledge in a range of clinical areas in order to respond to the diverse healthcare needs of rural communities, as well as undertake service development projects with a rural focus.
“This formal education program is designed to develop both clinical and non-clinical skills, with trainees able to gain a Graduate Diploma of Rural Generalist Practice at the completion of the course.
“The overall response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive, with the recent evaluation providing confirmation that key stakeholders, graduate trainees will benefit from this training pathway.
“The Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway is an exciting step towards bridging the gap in healthcare for regional South Australians while securing the allied health workforce we need for the future."
For more information on the Allied Health Generalist Pathway visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/ruralhealthworkforce
To view the evaluation report click here.