Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton has welcomed the news that three doctors in his electorate are being supported by the Federal Government to extend their medical training while continuing to work in their communities.
“Congratulations to Drs Kumosha Abeyweera and Salma Hanif of the Boggabri Medical Centre, and Dr Devika Mabula Arachchige of the Bridge Medical Centre in Narrabri, who are among 30 doctors nationwide who have commenced training with the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) this year,” Mr Coulton said.
“These doctors are delivering an essential service to patients in Boggabri and Narrabri, and now more than ever, they are on the front line of service delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our GPs are also an integral part of the local healthcare community in these areas.
“It’s vital that we can support and train doctors where they are most needed, so that people living in these rural communities, including Indigenous peoples, have access to the very best medical care.”
Funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health, the RVTS training model supports doctors, many of whom work as solo practitioners, to continue to serve their patients while upskilling.
“The RVTS has a long history of supporting doctors in small communities to gain GP Fellowship – it aims to train doctors in rural communities, for rural communities,” Mr Coulton said.
“For the last few years RVTS has had success in recruiting doctors to many towns in my electorate, such as Lightning Ridge and Bourke, through their targeted recruitment strategy.
“The Federal Government is committed to improving access to health services in rural and regional areas, and is working on key initiatives to support more doctors in the bush including the Rural Generalist Pathway and new innovative models of primary healthcare.”
Mr Coulton said patients with chronic health conditions should not hesitate to see their GP or specialist as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“I urge people to continue to consult with their GP about their regular healthcare needs at this time. This can be done from home via the new telehealth measures.”
More information about the RVTS is available at https://rvts.org.au