About the hubs
The regional training hub concept was an initiative of Deakin, Melbourne and Monash Universities. It aims to build on the success of regional delivery of undergraduate medical education programs and rural health research to provide the postgraduate phase of regional medical education.
Providing the missing link
Postgraduate training opportunities are acknowledged as the “missing link” in the pipeline of medical training. Through the federal government’s support of rural clinical schools, universities have been successful in recruiting students of rural origin into medicine, training students in regional and rural locations, and encouraging the uptake of rural intern positions. However, until the creation of the Regional Training Hubs, most medical graduates interested in pursuing specialist training needed to move to the city to do so. During this time, young doctors often put down roots in the metropolitan areas and it is difficult to entice them back to rural practice.
In 2017 the federal government announced funding for 26 regional training hubs across Australia to facilitate the development of specialist training positions in regional areas. The southern hubs (Victoria, Tasmania and Albury-Wodonga) are working collaboratively towards shared goals for the region.
Regional training hubs are a component of the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline for Medicine (IRTP) implemented through the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program at existing RHMT program training sites.
The RHMT program is a long-standing Australian Government initiative which funds the delivery of rural clinical training to medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health students. It supports a network of rural clinical schools, university departments of rural health and dental faculties supporting extended rural placements.
The IRTP is a Australian Government initiative to create a sustainable future medical workforce in remote, rural and regional Australia by providing greater opportunities for graduates interested in rural careers to maintain connections to rural communities while they complete post graduate training.
The regional training hub’s objectives are to:
- Improve coordination of medical training to enable students and junior doctors who want to practise rurally to complete as much of their medical training as possible within regional and rural areas
- Identify medical students with an interest in practising rurally and support them in accessing networked rural training opportunities at an early stage in their careers.
- Develop regional training capacity by:
- supporting current clinical training supervisors
- supporting local medical practitioners to become clinical supervisors
- assisting health services to obtain accreditation for new training positions
- Strengthen existing, and develop new, connections with key stakeholders to improve the continuity of training for medical students/trainees within the Hub region
- Identify regional medical workforce needs and use this information to prioritise the Hub’s activity.