GRAMPIANS health services will help train the next generation of doctors through a new State Government training program for medical graduates.
Health Minister David Davis said four new Rural Community Intern Training programs would be rolled out in the next two years.
“Plans are in place for five new internships to begin at health services in the Grampians in the next two years,” Mr Davis said.
“The State Government has committed $2.25 million for 20 new medical intern placements through the expansion of the program into the Grampians.”
The program will start at East Grampians Health Service in January.
East Grampians chief executive Nick Bush said it was a great opportunity for graduates and for the health service.
“We are one of the first rural locations to offer intern training in a small rural health service,” he said.
“It’s an opportunity for postgraduate, first-year students to have a medical placement in a rural community once they have graduated from university.”
Mr Bush said the program would run in conjunction with Maryborough District Health Service and St John of God Hospital Ballarat.
Interns can also train in general practice at Ararat Medical Centre.
Mr Bush said the program was great for the region.
“We have the view that if students are placed in a rural community, they will often stay there when they finish their training,” he said.
Mr Bush said he was pleased the State Government had focused the program on rural areas.
Programs will also be in Echuca, south-western Victoria and east Gippsland.
Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay said the training program played a vital role in developing a sustainable health workforce in rural Victoria.
“By providing a positive learning environment and experience for rural placements, students are more likely to return to work in the Grampians when they graduate,” he said.