Queensland Health serving rural and remote Queensland

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Queensland Health was proud to sponsor the 14th National Rural Health Conference held in Cairns on 26-29 April 2017. Queensland Health and its 16 Hospital and Health Services make a significant contribution to the health of rural Queenslanders through its strategically placed hospitals and clinics across this vast decentralised state.

Queensland Health has increased the intake into its Rural Generalist Program to 70-80 medical graduates each year. The Program guides these recruits in a joined-up pathway through postgraduate experience and training to Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) curricular standards to mature practice in the Queensland Health recognised discipline of Rural Generalist Medicine. A number of papers relating to the Rural Generalist Program were presented during the Conference.

The Queensland Rural Generalist Program is seeing an unprecedented revival in the medical workforce in rural and remote areas and providing doctors with the right skills in the right places. The Program also serves as a model for the proposed national rural generalist pathway.

An Allied Health Generalist Program also allows allied health professionals to reach their full scope, and indeed, to extend their scope of practice. The use of allied health assistants allows local continuation of vital allied health treatments between visits to larger facilities.

Rural nurses are not missing out, with advanced practice nurses providing high quality care across all rural, remote and isolated areas in the State under clinical guidelines that are locally developed and used across Australia, with plans for further training and support to attain and maintain their broad rural skills.

Queensland is the first jurisdiction to establish a rural and remote clinical network within the public health system. Queensland has long had disease-specific clinical networks that provide clinical guidance in their areas of expertise. The state-wide Rural and Remote Clinical Network was established more than four years ago. It provides guidance across the areas of Queensland serviced by rural generalist health workers and has provided advice on diverse and comprehensive, close-to-home services including birthing, telehealth and chemotherapy.

Queensland Health, our Hospital and Health Services, and our rural health workers were pleased to be able to share these initiatives with delegates to the 14th National Rural Health Conference.

Queensland Health was a major sponsor of the 14th National Rural Health Conference.

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