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Support scheme for specialists in rural Victoria.



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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: David.Hawker.MP@aph.gov.au Web: www.davidhawker.com.au

Media Release DavidHawkerMP Federal Member for Wannon

23 March 2004

SUPPORT SCHEME FOR SPECIALISTS IN RURAL VICTORIA

Specialists working in Victorian rural areas will be given more help to keep up with the latest developments in their field, through a new round of grants from the Australian Government.

Member for Wannon - David Hawker - said today the Government was providing $3.8 million this year to extend the Support Scheme for Rural Specialists.

Mr. Hawker said the scheme helped overcome the disincentives for specialists to work in rural areas.

“The scheme was set up in the 2002-03 budget with $4 million allocated for 2003 to improve professional and learning opportunities for specialists working in rural and remote areas,” Mr. Hawker said.

“More than $2 million has already been approved for 21 projects in 2004, each involving the relevant college of medical specialists.

“The government is now inviting applications for a further round of projects for this year.

“Among the projects of direct benefit to specialists in rural Victoria are clinical practice improvements and evidence-based practice education for rural specialists.

“Under this programme $260,000 was allocated for workshops including one in Warrnambool.”

Mr. Hawker said the support scheme would also test the National Continuing Professional Development Framework in rural specialist practices.

He said that last year, the scheme funded 22 continuing professional development projects, many of them using distance technology.

“Rural practice is also being helped through financial incentives, new placement programs, introduction of broadband technology, support for practice nurses and training and support programmes for both specialists and GPs,” Mr. Hawker said.

The scheme is managed by the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges, and further information can be obtained from www.ruralspecialist.org.au.

Release ends Media contact Graham Soawyer 5572 1100