Working with Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) and the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (DDHHS) Griffith University opened the new Griffith University Dalby Hospital Clinical Education Centre on 14 November 2018. The Centre is a new addition to the suite of Griffith Health rural training facilities throughout Queensland. The newly refurbished space was conceived to meet community demand for rural and regional medical placement facilities and includes simulation and practical learning and teaching spaces, clinical educator offices and study areas. The Centre confirms Griffith Health’s commitment to ensuring increased access to training facilities in regional communities.
The Hon. David Littleproud MP, Member for Maranoa and Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, was in attendance on the day to officially open the Centre. Speaking about the importance of health industry educational and training resources in rural and regional areas the MP said, “Thank you to Griffith University for the contributions you’re making to the health sector in our valuable rural and regional communities. Universities are one of the only institutions that can work with existing health services and bring together different partners to ensure students have access to opportunities like these, so thank you.”
Pro Vice Chancellor (Health) Professor Sheena Reilly spoke with staff, students and members of the community on the day, discussing the benefits of investing in the future of health in regional areas. “I would like to express my gratitude,” she said, “to everyone that has played a role in bringing this project together to provide an educational space for our students on placement at the hospital.”
According to the National Rural Health Alliance the demand for health care is increasing and the supply of health care professionals in rural and remote areas is not sufficient to ensure that the Australians living in those areas receive their fair share of treatment. In addition, rural training facilities allow future health professionals to return to their community for training and potential employment opportunities. Griffith student Zach Natoli is currently doing his placement at the Dalby Hospital and explained, “It’s not just about the personalised attention you receive, it’s about the depth of experience you get in a regional setting; I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do my placement out here.”
Griffith University has a strong rural focus, with multiple regional clinical educational facilities, and the School of Medicine has a dedicated entry to medicine for rural students as part of our commitment to improving health outcomes for all.