Over the past decade, the economic boom triggered in the Pilbara and the Kimberley regions has had a myriad of repercussions on the whole of Western Australia. Despite enormous economic growth yielded by boom, limited housing affordability, high costs of living and lack of facilities and infrastructure in rural and remote communities have deterred health professionals and specialists to pursue their careers in these geographical locations.
Whilst detrimental impacts of the mining boom and other socio-economic elements continue to prevail in WA communities, WACRH believes that creating sustainable support channels for rural health staff, and nurturing young people with an affinity for health careers, are crucial parts of creating the strong links that will enable retention and attraction of health staff to service our rural populations.
WACRH’s ‘pipeline’ model reinforces rural workforce activities such as:
- Provision of simulated activities from the EdSIM centre (such as the diabetic foot training workshops)
- Secondary school aged students – Career guidance and exposure to a variety of health fields
- Primary school aged students – enhanced exposure to medical professions at a young age through EdSIM (Student Academy)
- Opportunities for undergraduate students to complete rural placements with unique community experiences (Go Rural – Mt Magnet)
- Establish a model of clinical care and workforce training for the Aboriginal community controlled health sector that can inform national health care reform implementations (Pilbara)
- Increase the number of non-Aboriginal health students gaining a structured learning experience in Aboriginal health, leading to the creation of a future workforce that has the cultural and practice skills to work within Aboriginal organisations and with Aboriginal colleagues, patients and communities
- Working in partnership with other agencies to establish affordable and sustainable accommodation options