Rural Health Workforce Australia
Rural Health Workforce Australia (RHWA) is a non-governmental organization that works to develop national solutions to the shortage of healthcare workers. It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. RHWA’s vision is a health workforce providing accessible, quality health care services in rural and remote Australia. RHWA works in partnership with its member Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) to complement their on the ground knowledge and expertise. The main belief is that in order to increase the health workforce in rural and remote Australia, we need a system that trains and educates graduates with an interest in living and working in rural Australia.
RHWA supports and represents the seven RWAs that operate in each State and the Northern Territory. They directly recruit and support GPs in rural communities through a number of services:
- Provision of information on rural practice and opportunities to students, registrars and practitioners.
- Provision of relocation assistance and relocation grants.
- Orientation of Overseas Trained Doctors to rural Australia.
- Provision of upskilling training & grants for rural doctors.
- Workforce planning and national rural general practice minimum data set collation and analysis.
- Assistance to communities to develop sustainable health services and policy input on issues and needs.
Links to the health workforce crisis
RHWA’s role is to develop solutions to improve the recruitment and retention of the health workforce throughout rural and remote Australia. Underlying all its work is a commitment to the health workforce needs of Australia's Indigenous communities. RHWA will focus on three goals over the next three years:
- Making general practice viable in rural and remote Australia;
- Supporting International Medical Graduates to live and work in rural and remote Australia; and
- Ensuring that future health professionals are attracted to rural and remote health careers.
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