Medicine

More training opportunities for rural physicians in Ballarat

Ballarat physicians will have the chance to strengthen their specialist skills thanks to a $1.1 million training boost from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, announced the funding boost to the Royal Australian College of Physicians’ (RACP) Dual Physician Training Program which will support rural physicians to undertake training in both metropolitan and rural Victoria.

From 2017, trainee physicians at Ballarat Health, Bendigo Health, Goulburn Valley Health and Latrobe Regional Hospital will receive support to undertake additional training in a specialty of their choice at a metropolitan hospital on top of their regional general acute training.

This means that Ballarat physicians can be trained in specialist medical skills to fill gaps that may exist in rural communities.

Physicians are doctors who have completed further training in a medical specialty to diagnose and manage complex medical problems.

The RACP trains physicians in more than 33 medical specialties such as paediatrics and child health, cardiology, respiratory medicine, neurology, oncology, public health medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, palliative medicine, sexual health medicine, rehabilitation and addiction medicine.

Rural physicians are looking to expand their skills, but there is a lack of specialist training outside major cities. The Dual Physician Training Program addresses this issue.

A Victorian pilot was undertaken in Bendigo during 2016 and will now be expanded with the new funding.

By building the skills of the rural medical workforce through this program, the Labor Government is giving people in rural and regional Victoria better access to the specialist medical care they need, closer to home.

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