New $1.6m medical training centre

AN ADDITIONAL 375 students will train at Hervey Bay Hospital after Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced the building of a medical training centre yesterday.

The $1.6 million teaching and learning centre will include a mock hospital ward, procedural training spaces and simulated consulting rooms.

Ms Roxon made the announcement at Hervey Bay Hospital yesterday morning when she joined Labor Party candidate Belinda McNeven on the Hinkler campaign trail.

Bundaberg will also get its slice with $1.8 million set aside to create 400 new traineeships in the Rum City over the next five years.

At present there are 15 medical, 250 nursing and 30 midwifery placements in Hervey Bay.

Lecture halls, student accommodation and tutorial rooms will be part of the plan in both cities in a move to attract students back to their training grounds when they are fully fledged doctors, nurses and allied care professionals.

Building is expected to be complete by 2012 with the increase in student capacity likely to start in mid 2011.

The Federal Government announced the $191 million plan for 150 GP training projects nationwide in its 2010 budget.

Ms Roxon revealed that the health department was “swamped” with applications for the funding, including the University of Queensland plan behind the Hervey Bay and Bundaberg centres.

“We only picked the best,” Ms Roxon said.

“It's about making sure people have the best quality experience during their placements in Hervey Bay and Bundaberg.”

Ms McNeven said there was “substantial evidence that students who train in rural and regional communities often return to boost that medical workforce once qualified”.

Professor Peter Baker from the University of Queensland placed the emphasis on collaborative health care and a teamwork approach from an early stage at the Rural Clinical School.

“It's important that they all train together as students so they can work together through their careers.”

The Federal Government will provide $1.5 million for the two centres, with a further $1.9 million to be provided by UQ and Queensland Health.

NUMBERS UP

$1.6 million for new medical training centre in Hervey Bay

375 additional medical, nursing and allied health care students over five years

15 medical students training in Hervey Bay at present

250 nursing and 30 midwifery placements in Hervey Bay at present



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