Health professionals in rural and regional New South Wales wanting to increase their skills are encouraged to apply for financial support under the Australian Government’s Health Workforce Scholarship Program.
The new program provides funding for rural general practitioners (GPs), nurses, midwives, dentists, allied health professionals and Aboriginal Health Workers working primarily in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services as well as the private and non-government sector. The funding is to support their professional development, further study, course and conference attendance, upskilling and training.
Aboriginal GP Registrar, Dr Justin Gladman works for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and recently received $3,150 from the Health Workforce Scholarship Program.
“I applied for funding to undertake the Sydney Child Health Program after identifying that a significant amount of my clinic load was concentrated on children and paediatric care,” he said.
“I’m committed to making a difference in rural health and this scholarship is helping me upskill to provide more focused child health care and improved health outcomes for my community of Broken Hill.”
Richard Colbran is Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) that administers the Program in NSW. He said the scholarship program would ultimately help to expand the range of health services available for people living in rural and remote communities in New South Wales, by supporting rural health professionals to develop their clinical skills, capacity and scope of practice.
“We know how important it is for health professionals to keep their skills and knowledge up to date, so they can provide the best care to their communities. The Health Workforce Scholarship Program provides financial support to health professionals already working in areas experiencing a shortage of services, or to those willing to move to areas where there are a lack of services,” he said.
“Most importantly, the scholarships are based on the needs of rural, regional and remote communities, and involve a return of service obligation to ensure that recipients practise in rural Australia for at least 12 months on completion of their studies.”
The Health Workforce Scholarship Program is one of several initiatives funded by the Australian Government that RDN administers to support a high quality rural primary health care workforce, and improve the recruitment and retention of rural health professionals in rural and remote NSW.
Applicants eligible for the scholarship program can receive up to $10,000 per year, for up to two years, for postgraduate study or up to $10,000 for professional development and upskilling including accommodation and travel-related expenses.
For more information or to apply for funding, visit the RDN website at www.nswrdn.com.au/hwsp
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