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Remote Area Health Corps partners with Western Health

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Remote Area Health Corps partners with Western Health

​In 2014, five senior Western Hospital Emergency Department nurses will embark on exciting placements to the Northern Territory as part of a partnership program with Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC). The participants are Ruth Coleman, Mark Kohler, Kimberley Nini, Michelle Robinson and Gladis Rodriguez Lopez.
During the course of their placements, the nurses will spend six weeks in remote Indigenous communities providing primary health care.
The first nurse departed on Sunday 11 May, with the other participants following consecutively over seven months.
RAHC is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health under the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Through Health Budget Measure. It aims to address critical health workforce shortages in remote Indigenous communities by attracting and recruiting urban-based health practitioners and placing them in short-term placements in those communities where there is demand.
“The partnership offers Western Health nursing staff the opportunity to experience the cultural and health issues of the Indigenous people who are living in these remote settings,” said Divisional Director Emergency, Medicine & Cancer Services, Rhonda Beattie-Manning.
“This program is a fantastic opportunity for Western Health to strengthen its ability to respond to the needs of our culturally diverse community. During the course of their placements, our nursing staff will gain a deeper understanding of the unique needs of Indigenous people living in our local community, and develop their interpersonal and communication skills.
“According to program evaluation conducted by RAHC, the level of satisfaction expressed by staff in their feedback confirms that health professionals find the remote placements to be rewarding experiences, and these opportunities significantly contribute to the expansion of their scope of practice.
“There are currently no formal partnerships between RAHC and another health service to provide health professionals, and the RAHC/Western Health partnership will be the first to be successfully established in Australia.” ​