Regional Training Hubs (RTH) were established as a component of the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) for Medicine in 2017. The IRTP is a Commonwealth 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 aims of the IRTP as set out by the Commonwealth are threefold:
The Commonwealth has so far established 26 regional training hubs across Australia. The Goulburn Valley Regional Training Hub (GVRTH) was established in September 2017. Located in Shepparton, the GVRTH sits within the University of Melbourne; Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences; Department of Rural Health. The GVRTH geographical footprint includes the communities of Echuca, Shepparton, Wangaratta and smaller outlying towns. The long-term aim of the GVRTH is to improve recruitment and retention of medical workforce in our footprint, thus improving access to health services for local communities. The GVRTH is working with the three other Victorian Hubs (managed by Monash and Deakin Universities) as a consortium to achieve our shared goals.
The GVRTH plays a key role in bringing together all the stakeholders involved in specialist training in our regional footprint.
The GVRTH is enabling students, interns and trainees to easily access information about training in the region, working to increase the number of funded training positions in the region, building a mentoring program to support medical students, interns and junior doctors by linking them to social and professional support, and working with all health services in the region to improve access to teaching and learning environments.
The GVRTH is supporting our health services partners to achieve their strategic objectives to improve the supervision, feedback and communication skills, of their senior medical staff, and working with experts in the field of medical education and learning technologies to develop a training package which will be available to our health services partners.
The GVRTH is increasing the social support in the region by rolling out a professional and academic mentoring and community mentoring program to be made available to all junior doctors in our footprint. This will include access to calendar of social events and networking opportunities and use of a cloud based mentoring program (Mentorloop).
The GVRTH is currently working closely with the Murray to the Mountains (M2M) GP Intern Program to develop training pathways by creating links from the student experience to internship and all the way through to specialist training.
Click here to go to the M2M website for further information on this program.
Innovative and flexible models are needed to address workforce distribution issues in rural and regional Australia and accommodate the increased number of medical graduates. The GVRTH is working in partnership with health services in our region to develop regional rotations and pathways to ensure that medical training time in the region is maximised.