Date - 10 August 2020
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for the health and higher education sectors. Disruptions to traditional methods of the delivery of health services and education and training have meant a rapid rethink of how we do business. This has provided some unique opportunities for innovation in the delivery of health services and health training in regional, rural and remote Australia.
For SQRH, our consortium of the University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service have been meeting regularly to ensure that training opportunities for health students have continued over this difficult period. I would like to thank our valued stakeholders, led by the SQRH Advisory Board for being so willing to band together and develop innovative solutions in
such challenging times.
We have seen great innovations in alternative modes of service delivery with the transition of the SQRH student-led interprofessional Health and Wellness Clinic in Toowoomba to a full telehealth model during the lockdown period. Additionally, SQRH staff and students have been delivering Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab services on behalf of DDH through this telehealth model to great effect. This has provided unique training experiences for health students across a range of professions, some of who may not have had the opportunity to complete a placement due to COVID-19 restrictions. The delivery of the SQRH supervisor training for rural health professionals and the Southern Queensland Interprofessional Education Community of Practice have seen increased attendance with delivery now provided online.
Construction of the SQRH Clinical Training Facility in Charleville is moving along at a great pace. The project is expected to be completed by the end of September and will provide enhanced health training opportunities in Outback Queensland. The Charleville community has been an incredible support and it is our privilege to work with such an amazing community to bring increased health training opportunities to the bush.