February 21, 2022
Type of support:
The Coalition Federal Government is providing $3.7 million to the University of South Australia (UniSA) to establish a training site in Port Lincoln that will encourage current and future nursing and allied health students to pursue careers in elderly care once qualified.
Making the important announcement today at the Matthew Flinders Home, where the training and simulation site will be built, MP for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said it was a win-win situation for local healthcare students and the region’s growing elderly population.
Ramsey said the new center will feature state-of-the-art equipment, including a simulated resident room with a geriatric manikin, a clinical skills training lab, videoconferencing/telehealth facilities and student mentorship areas, tutorials and offices.
“Each year, the demonstration project will give dozens of students in nursing and other health professions the opportunity to study under supervision in residential and community care for the elderly in Port Lincoln,” said Mr Ramsey. .
“In addition to nursing, the project will support students in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, podiatry, pharmacy and nutrition; with the program likely to expand to include dietetics, exercise physiology and social work students in the future.
Federal Regional Health Minister Dr David Gillespie, who will join Mr Ramsey tomorrow for a rural health visit to Wallaroo, said the center will give students the experience and training needed to develop their knowledge, expertise and their skills relevant to the practice of rural aged care, which makes them more likely to pursue a career in regional, rural or remote aged care upon graduation.
“The project will initially start with 52 weeks of student placements in 2022, growing to 288 weeks and 48 students in 2024 and beyond, representing a huge increase in staff for local aged care,” said the Dr Gillespie.
“In turn, this will give older people who receive care access to health services that were not available locally, and better access to existing services.”
Mr Ramsey said the benefits of the project would extend to the entire Port Lincoln community.
“Port Lincoln is the service hub of the Lower Eyre Peninsula and also a retirement destination, with a growing elderly population,” Mr Ramsey said.
“This project will give students from the region and beyond the opportunity to learn on the job and connect them to future local employment opportunities.
“At the same time, it will help local aged care provider, Matthew Flinders Home, continue to provide high quality care and meet the health care needs of its residents.”
UniSA will receive nearly $3.7 million from the Liberal and National Government to establish the site at Matthew Flinders Home. It is part of the federal government’s $18.4 million investment to establish up to seven health training demonstration sites in rural and remote aged care services, under the program Plus Broad Multidisciplinary Training in Rural Health (RHMT).
In October 2020, the Australian Government announced an investment of $48.3 million to increase rural health training opportunities to deliver health, aged care and disability services in regional, rural communities and remote under the RHMT program. The program currently provides over $200 million in funding to 21 universities across Australia to improve the recruitment and retention of health, nursing, dental and allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia.