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More health workers will train in Murray Bridge
A $1.95-million funding injection from the federal government will allow Flinders University to train more allied health professionals here.
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Murray Bridge will host more trainee health care workers than ever before under a $1.95-million program announced on Monday.
Flinders University will bring an extra 18 trainees to the Riverland Mallee Coorong in each of the next two years, giving them a taste of country life in the hope that they will return to start their careers.
The university will even buy a house in Murray Bridge so its trainees can live here for their four- to six-week placements, instead of commuting from Adelaide.
The trainees will accompany occupational therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals as they see patients, helping to provide more health care to local people.
The program will also involve outreach to local schools, whose students will be encouraged to take up careers in allied health; and culturally appropriate care for the local Indigenous population, with help from a dedicated advisor.
Vice-chancellor Colin Stirling said Flinders University was determined to train more allied health workers – not just doctors and nurses – in regional areas.
“Having students do placements in communities is the best way to get them engaged with what it’s like to be a professional in those communities,” he said.
“We’ve got a fantastic record of our graduates going to work in communities just like this one.”
Regional Health Minister David Gillespie said most patients needed the services of more than one health professional.
“It takes a team of people to look after a patient,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Everyone knows about doctors and nurses and midwives, but you need the speech therapy, the physiotherapy, the rehab from hospital.”
The funding announced on Monday will go to towns all around the Murraylands, Riverland and Mallee, particularly Berri; but Murray Bridge will be the hub for the program.
About 200-300 students already gain experience at Flinders University’s Murray Bridge campus each year.
More information: www.flinders.edu.au/flindersruralhealthsa.