Announcing new Central Queensland healthcare training site
James Cook University is set to establish a rural health center in Emerald to boost rural and remote health in Queensland’s central highlands.
Professor Sabina Knight, director of JCU’s Murtupuni Center for Rural and Remote Health in Mount Isa, said the new Central Queensland Center for Rural and Remote Health (CQCRRH) will establish Emerald training sites and outreach activities. awareness in the Gemfields area with future expansion plans for Biloela.
“We currently have a modest established presence at Emerald and this is a fabulous opportunity to partner with community, health services and practice to develop the health workforce in and for central Queensland,” said Professor Knight.
She said around 43% of healthcare workers in rural and remote Queensland are JCU graduates.
“JCU is committed to the people of rural and remote Queensland, as demonstrated by our current operations and our graduate destinations. This new University Department of Rural Health will enable us to expand that, particularly for Central Queensland,” said Professor Knight.
She said the new center will enhance clinical placements, integrate students into practices, services, organizations and communities, and strengthen engagement with Indigenous communities.
“This will expand employment opportunities for local clinicians, providing much-needed primary care and allied health services to underserved communities,” Professor Knight said.
The federal government funds the program through the Department of Health’s Multidisciplinary Rural Health Training Program with an initial $10 million over 2 years and approximately $4.5 million recurring thereafter.
Regional Health Minister Dr David Gillespie said the creation of the CQCRRH is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to increasing the health workforce in rural, regional and remote communities.
“Providing quality rural health education requires a viable academic presence across rural Australia. The new center fills a geographic gap in tertiary health education and is a welcome announcement for people living in central Queensland who are interested in a career in health – and for the wider community.” , said Dr. Gillespie.
“Partnerships, collaboration and rural integrity are core values of the program and our university. The community, local governments and health departments have been so supportive of the proposal – we look forward to further developing our center in the region and are off to a great start in 2022! Professor Knight said