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Rural doctors welcome latest funding round for rural health infrastructure.



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M E D I A R E L E A S E

Wednesday 28 January 2009

Rural doctors welcome latest funding round for rural health infrastructure

The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed funding provided by the Federal Government to a variety of rural and remote health infrastructure projects in the latest round of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP).

The NRRHIP was funded under the 2008-09 federal budget and will provide $46 million over four years in health infrastructure funding for rural and remote communities.

“The bricks and mortar aspect of rural practice can be incredibly expensive and a real barrier in establishing or maintaining health services in some rural and remote communities, so financial assistance provided in this area is greatly appreciated” RDAA President, Dr Nola Maxfield, said.

“It is also pleasing to see that some rural medical practices have received funding in this round to enable them to better accommodate clinical placements for medical students and junior doctors.

“It has been shown time and again that medical students and young medical graduates who spend time sampling life as a rural doctor are much more likely to return to the bush to practise. For some rural medical practices there is simply not the space to take on medical students and recent graduates, however, so financial support to extend or refurbish practices to enable them to accommodate these clinical placements is very worthwhile.

“We also welcome the allocation of NRRHIP funding to better accommodate allied health services in some rural communities.

“Of course, supporting the development of health infrastructure is only one element of boosting healthcare services in the bush—there remains a continuing need for governments to provide better incentives and supports to get and keep more doctors, nurses and other health professionals in rural and remote Australia.

“We hope 2009 sees the rollout by the federal and state governments of additional supports to do just that.”

Available for interview: RDAA President, Dr Nola Maxfield, on (03) 5672 1333 (bh) or 0418 335 344. Media contact: Patrick Daley on 0408 004 890.