Clinical training facility advances rural health

A new training centre nearly 700km west of Brisbane  designed to boost nursing, midwifery and allied health skills in some of Queensland’s most remote areas  officially opened in Charleville today.

University of Queensland health students are among those who will now be able to gain professional qualifications at the new Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) Clinical Training Facility.

SQRH is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service.

UQ Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Executive Dean Professor Bruce Abernethy said the centre was a significant achievement from the government, industry and university collaboration.

“It will enable us to deliver a high-standard health workforce and provide students with invaluable opportunities to immerse themselves in rural healthcare,” Professor Abernethy said.

“The facility improves healthcare access and is expected to lift the numbers of students who return to practice in rural and regional areas.”

A clinical simulation lab, telehealth studios, clinical consultation rooms, videoconference training rooms, meeting rooms, offices and an outdoor education area are included in the new building.

Bidjara Elder Ms Keelen Mailman welcomed visitors to Country in language and Aboriginal dancers staged a smoking ceremony before Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud officially opened the facility today.

Bidjara elders contributed to a yarning circle and bush medicine garden at the facility and will teach students there about local Aboriginal culture.

SQRH Director Associate Professor Geoff Argus said students would have a range of clinical placement and training opportunities.

“We look forward to continuing our support and training of nursing, midwifery and allied health students in the state’s South West from our new premises,” Professor Argus said.

“The co-location on Charleville Hospital grounds will further enhance experiences for these students.

“SQRH’s collaboration between the higher education sector and the health sector has delivered a strong foundation for growing the rural health workforce and is an excellent prototype for other parts of Australia to replicate.”

The Australian Government provided $3 million to help build the facility, through the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program.

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