Funding for a stronger regional health workforce

11 Jan 2019 media release

Regional South Australians will enjoy better and more sustainable health care thanks to a significant Marshall Liberal Government investment in rural health professionals.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade today announced more than $2 million will be delivered immediately through the Rural Health Workforce Strategy to fast track priority projects to grow and strengthen our regional workforce. 

"Our rural and regional communities were neglected under the previous Labor Government", Minister Wade said. 

"The Marshall Liberal Government will better support the health needs of our regions with a $20 million commitment to develop our rural health workforce over four years. 

"We want to empower our country clinicians and this plan is an important step to attract more health professionals to the regions."

The first-year investments announced today were priorities identified by clinicians through broad consultation. 

Minister Wade said key to the recruitment and retention of health professionals is ensuring they get the support they need, when and where they need it. 

"To that end, a significant portion of the first-year investment is $840,000 to deliver direct support for clinicians through an expanded Digital Telehealth Network (DTN)," Mr Wade said. 

"This means a majority of country hospitals will have access to high quality technology providing a network of support across the State. 

"The digital network will expand remote assistance to country clinicians, particularly by giving them access to specialist support and MedStar Retrieval teams. 

"The Government is committed to supporting advanced skills training for health workers, given the reliance of country hospitals on GPs for medical services. 

"In addition to funding front-line initiatives immediately, a specific rural generalist pathway project team is being formed to develop a long-term plan and broker the partnerships that will make a plan work. 

"The project team is an investment to get the foundations right. The team will operate under the guidance of Dr Hendrika Meyer and work with a broad-based steering committee."