A multidisciplinary teaching facility is being built to boost the health and aged care workforce in regional areas of southern Tasmania.

The $1.5-million training and teaching facility is a partnership between the University of Tasmania’s Centre for Rural Health and Corumbene Care – an independent, not-for-profit provider of residential aged care along with retirement living, health and other aged care services.

Located in New Norfolk, the teaching centre will become part of Corumbene Care’s Health Hub on The Avenue, an all-purpose facility that aims to promote improvement in healthy ageing and wellbeing in the Derwent Valley and the greater regions.

Currently under construction, once built, the health hub will be home to nursing and allied health students – including pharmacy and physiotherapy – undertaking their professional placements at the centre.

“The new multidisciplinary facility will help support health outcomes in the elderly population with placements focusing on a collaborative care model across the different disciplines,” said Associate Professor Tony Barnett of UTAS’ Centre for Rural Health.

The training facility will also provide opportunities for local clinical supervisors to develop skills across training, guidance and mentorship, Associate Professor Barnett said.

Bringing face-to-face training to people in the local area and surrounds “is key for engagement and the acquisition of practical skills,” Corumbene Care CEO Alison Standen said. “This is a proven model for improving the social and health outcomes within our community.”

The training facility, which is set to open in December 2023, will be funded through the Department of Health’s Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program.

The program has been established to address the gaps in Australia’s rural healthcare workforce and aims to improve the recruitment and retention of medical, nursing, dental and allied health professionals in remote regions.

“Training for the region, within the region, is a fantastic concept,” said Ms Standen.

Main image, left-right: Associate Professor Tony Barnett, Minster for Aged Care Services Richard Colbeck, Liberal candidate for Lyons Suzie Bower and Corumbene Care CEO Alison Standen at the site of the new teaching facility.

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