Darling Downs regional communities and Griffith University health students arebenefitting from the new Stanthorpe Clinical Education Facility.

Based at the Stanthorpe Hospital, the $1.3m facility was officially opened last Friday 20 June by The Honourable Bruce Scott MP, Federal LNP Member for Maranoa.

“This facility and those like it at Kingaroy and Warwick are unique in integrating rural medical education and training for students, junior doctors rotating out to rural terms and registrars and also the training doctors apprenticing to be specialists in rural general practice,” said Professor Scott Kitchener, Medical Director of Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) and Clinical and Academic Lead in Rural Health for Griffith University.

“This building and these programs create the pipeline of training that is needed and is effective in producing doctors for rural communities both in the short and long term. Helping the trained rural doctors stay in rural communities is also a benefit.”

A collaborative effort

A collaborative effort between Griffith and QRME, the facility features a training unit and a six unit accommodation facility. “In many rural communities, it is necessary to provide both training facilities and accommodation infrastructure to foster rural medical education,” Professor Kitchener said.

So far Medicine students have been the first to take advantage of the new facility, but this is expected to be expanded to other health disciplines such as nursing, midwifery and allied health, says PVC for the Health Group Professor Allan Cripps.

“The Stanthorpe Clinical Education Facility represents an important site for Griffithto help improve workforce capacity for regional areas. It also links otherdevelopments across the Darling Downs for supporting work in other facilities,” he said.

Mr Scott has long-fought for better health outcomes in the Maranoa electorate and applauded Griffith University’s commitment to regional Queensland.

“I congratulate the university on its commitment to better regional healthcare,” Mr Scott said.