About Northern Queensland Regional Training Hubs
The health needs of communities in rural, regional and remote areas of northern Queensland are currently underserved. There is a disproportionate high number of General Practitioners (GPs) and specialists concentrated in the capital cities with a corresponding impact on doctor shortages in regional, rural and remote areas*.
To address these issues, the Australian Government’s initiative - the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline for Medicine (IRTP) (under the Health Workforce Program in December 2015) aims to retain medical graduates in northern Queensland through better coordinating the different stages of medical training within regions, and build additional junior doctor places and specialist training positions in regional and rural areas.
As part of the IRTP, Northern Queensland Regional Training Hubs were formed whereby James Cook University has partnered with the public and private hospitals and health services and GP clinics in the northern Queensland region to help support the initiative.
Our vision is to improve the health of communities in the northern Queensland region by addressing the shortage of doctors in the area. We aim to have an integrated pipeline of medical training across the training continuum that provides a high quality,
- Support and expand medical training in northern Queensland through an integrated network of training pathways utilising a model of rural/regional and public/private rotations that begin in the undergraduate years enabling doctors to be based in northern Queensland for all of their post-graduate training, with rotations away to major cities only as required.
- Provide focused support for rural training opportunities for doctors at all stages of their medical training - undergraduate, junior doctor and specialist vocational training.
- Improve the retention of medical trainees to rural and regional areas by providing an enhanced level of support.
- Identify medical students and medical trainees with an interest in practising rurally or regionally, and provide them with support and relevant information at the early stages of their careers.
- Link medical training opportunities across northern Queensland facilities to enable medical trainees to complete as much of their specialist training as possible within the region.
- Develop regional training capacity by supporting current supervisors of clinical training, assisting health services in obtaining accreditation for new training positions, and supporting local medical practitioners to become clinical supervisors.