Last week Gladstone welcomed Assistant Minister for Rural Health David Gillespie to the region to tour Central Queensland’s various health facilities.
Research shows that rural and regional communities in Australia have lower life expectancy, higher rates of disease, injury and death, with 1 in 5 emergency room visits for chronic illnesses. Yet, rural and regional health facilities aren’t often able to cater to these needs.
Federal member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd accompanied Assistant Minister Gillespie to GP Superclinic in Gladstone, and other health facilities in Biloela and Monto.
The visit offered local medical practitioners a rare opportunity to discuss their challenges and expectations directly with a member of the government’s ministry. The electorate of Flynn covers 133 000 square kilometers and much of this area is rural and remote.
Mr Gillespie said “Together with my colleagues, we are pursuing bold reforms that put patients at the centre of the system as we build a health workforce that meets the needs of rural communities.”
“Through the development of the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline, we will see more integrated, prevocational, post-graduate, medical training pathway in rural and regional areas. We will see more health practitioners able to complete different stages of their medical training, from student to specialists, in rural areas.”