$1.9 million rural health school opens in Hervey Bay

THE $1.9 million University of Queensland rural clinical school in Hervey Bay is officially opening today.

For the past ten years, medical students from UQ in Brisbane have moved up to Hervey Bay for their year three and four training.

Up until the beginning of 2014, the students have used the Hervey Bay Hospital rooms, facilities and patients for learning purposes, sharing limited space and equipment with the hospital's doctors and nurses.

After receiving funding from Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, UQ and the Federal Government's innovative clinical teaching and training grant, UQ was able to build a separate facility for the students to learn in their own space, next to the hospital.

While this building has been operational for over a year, the official opening is being held today, to tie into Saturday's 10th year of the UQ rural clinic in Hervey Bay.

Director of Hervey Bay and Acting Head of UQ Rural Clinical School Assoc Prof Riitta Partanen said the new building allowed students to sharpen up their skills before they entered the real hospital ward.

"They have their own space to undertake clinical scenario training, inserting IV lines, injections or lumbar punctures," Assoc Prof Partanen said.

"They can do these on the trainers before they do them on patients."

The clinic was set up in 2005 to encourage more medical students to stay on as doctors in regional, rural and remote areas.

More than 200 students have come to Hervey Bay and are now working across the Wide Bay, Darling Downs, or further out west.

On Saturday from 2pm, the public is able to visit the new building and find out more about the services offered by UQ in Hervey Bay at the clinic's open day.

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