| October 23, 2017

Rural and Regional Health Services in Murray

The Liberal-National coalition government has committed to vastly improving the health outcomes for rural and regional Australians. The Assistant Minister for Health, David Gillespie, is driving changes to facilitate these improvements. On Saturday, Assistant Minister Gillespie announced the appointment of Emeritus Professor Paul Worley as Australia's first National Rural Health Commissioner. Professor Worley's first priority will be to develop national rural generalist pathways to provide training, recognition and appropriate remuneration for the complex demands on doctors working outside of the major cities.

We need more trained medical practitioners and specialists in rural and regional areas, and yet it has been shown that graduates are most likely to stay and settle in regional Australia if they study and train in the regions. The City of Greater Shepparton in the heart of my electorate of Murray is perfectly poised to provide this training. In April this year, the Assistant Minister for Health, David Gillespie, announced that Shepparton had been selected as a regional health training hub. This needs to be progressed to develop a full end-to-end medical school. And this will also embark with Shepparton's $168 million new hospital, which is getting built very, very soon. The new emergency department will have 36 treatment spaces and nine extra beds for short stays, and this will double the current emergency availability. We need an end-to-end medical school for the City of Greater Shepparton to train our locals and keep those doctors in the regions.

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