Friday, November 2, 2012

Students will ‘learn to love the country life’

When the CQUniversity Allied Health Clinic was officially opened by Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, she made a valid point to the crowd that attended that students who gain professional experience at facilities such as this will be more likely to seek out professional placements in rural and remote communities going forward. And I for one completely agree.

Even though this clinic is based in Rockhampton it is already providing value to residents from across the entire Central Queensland region, through the delivery of specialist and preventative health care treatment, which aims to treat chronic and complex illnesses and keep patients well and out of hospital. Despite only being open to patients since August, already more than 2,000 people from several CQ communities have visited and received treatment in the clinic. 

 The Minister opening the Clinic

Patients however, aren’t the only ones benefiting – students are also gaining huge value from being placed within the clinic and learning from health professionals who are leaders in the field. With the clinic now providing up to 200 placements per year for students - from nine universities – including CQUniversity, this will have an extraordinary impact and flow on effect on the future of healthcare in our region. 

It goes without saying that it is beyond difficult to attract skilled professionals to regional areas, but through providing students with a quality learning experience and a taste of the ‘real Australia’, I really believe that they will be more likely to stay or relocate to our region to commence practice in their chosen field after graduating. Demand for health care is always increasing and by having this clinic in our backyard Central Queensland is most certainly on the front foot for attracting and retaining the professionals of the future. 

As I’ve mentioned many times before, students who study local are also more likely to stay local, and I am pleased to be a part of a university that will deliver quality graduates to the region, who will fill current and future skill shortages - not just in health care but other industries as well. This focus is good for the community, good for the economy and good for regional sustainability. 

 Consultation rooms inside the clinic

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