The opportunity for support and expansion of other health organisations to provide assistance to students in a rural placement is limited by access to low cost accommodation within the Midwest region.
Last year, more than 16 students participating in Geraldton- based rural placements had to find accommodation for the equivalent of 74 weeks of placement time. Many of these students reported high costs related to rental and bond arrangements and this has been acknowledged as a deterrent to student uptake of rural placements. Establishing affordable and sustainable accommodation options is an important strategy in addressing future rural health workforce skills and attraction.
The Work and Funds
WACRH works closely with numerous Midwest partners to develop greater delivery in rural health education and research.
Access to affordable accommodation plays a critical role in the implementation of program opportunities such as clinical and community based inter-professional learning (IPL) programs in Geraldton, expansion of clinical placements within Aboriginal medical services, NGO and private sectors where WACRH has an education and training role. The delivery of a range of education options at post graduate and short course levels, coupled with low-cost accommodation can also now be offered to students living out of Town.
WACRH’s ownership of capital costs incurred by the purchase and renovation of the Milford St building was made possible by funding received from Health Workforce Australia.
The Milford Street Student Complex consists of 12 by 2 bedroom flats.
The two-storey building is located adjacent to the Geraldton Health Service and is in easy walking distance to WACRH, Durack College, Geraldton University Centre and the CBD.
The student accommodation complex is coordinated and managed by WACRH.