Rural health education gets a boost

From left: Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg, Griffith Health Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Allan Cripps and School of Dental and Oral Health head Professor Ward Massey at Griffith's new Warwick Hospital facility

A new medical training and accommodation facility has been opened in Warwick featuring a 60 chair seminar room, 24 bed hostel and a 6-chair dental clinic.

Funded by the Australian Government and built by Griffith University, in collaboration with the Darling Downs Health Service District, the Warwick Hospital facility will be the first of three to open in the next few months with similar facilities under construction in Stanthorpe and Kingaroy.

Darling Downs expansion

The Warwick facility was opened by Queensland Health Minister the Hon Lawrence Springborg , Griffith Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian O’Connor and Health Pro Vice Chancellor, Allan Cripps.

“Griffith University is really proud of the relationship we’re developing in the Darling Downs region. It is creating genuine bricks and mortar results, which will be of enormous benefit to the towns and our academics and students,” Professor O’Connor said.

“We want people in the Darling Downs to think of Griffith as their university.

The $8.3million project was funded by the Federal Department of Health and Ageing’s Increasing Clinical Training Capacity program.

Helping rural health and communities

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg highlighted the dental training facility as being something of immediate need to the people of the region as well as the possibility of local people being able to complete a significant portion of their training locally.

“Dental health is one of the biggest problems for people in this region, getting dentists to move here and stay here is very difficult, but we know people are much more likely to stay if they can complete a significant portion of their training in a rural town or if they come from a rural town. This facility will help us do both.”

The dental training facility will also include a mobile dental van, to visit school and smaller communities.

Opportunities for rural people

Griffith Health Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Allan Cripps was looking forward to an increase in training and clinical supervision capacity as well as broadening the scope for research into rural health concerns.

“Through providing education and clinical placement opportunities in the Darling Downs, it is anticipated that regional and rural students, including those from local Indigenous Communities find health education more accessible.”

Griffith Health will also open a training only facility in Toowoomba in the new year.