Date - 30 September 2019
Describing SQRH as a real investment in the future of health training in the region, the Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton officially opened the SQRH Toowoomba main training facility on September 24, 2019.
Minister Coulton said the new facility would support rural clinical placements for students across a range of disciplines, including nursing and midwifery, physiotherapy, pharmacy, psychology, social work, occupational therapy, speech pathology, dietetics and exercise physiology.
“The increase of rural health students will boost the number of qualified health professionals working in the Darling Downs and South West regions, build the region’s capacity to train students and support a better distributed health workforce,” Minister Coulton said.
Minister Coulton toured the facility and was pleased to see state-of-the-art training equipment as well as hear about the innovative projects and programs being implemented across Southern Queensland.
“The Federal Government is committed to improving the range of health care available to regional patients, and research shows that students who undertake training in the country are more likely to continue to work in or return to the regions at the completion of their studies,” Minister Coulton said.
Member for Groom John McVeigh said the new centre included training rooms, staff offices, tutorial and meetings rooms and telehealth studios.
“The facility is a positive investment for the future health workforce of Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and the South West.
“A project such as this will bring economic and social benefits for the community as well as improving the viability and stability of local health services,” he said.
The SQRH facility received $1.3 million of Federal Government funding, and is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service.
Darling Downs Health (DDH) Board Chair Mr Mike Horan said the DDH valued its close association with SQRH and was pleased to provide the Heritage-listed Hill House, located on the grounds of Baillie Henderson Hospital, as well as $250,000 capital funds contribution toward a high standard refurbishment.
SQRH Director Associate Professor Geoff Argus said he and the SQRH team were delighted to host the official opening and have the opportunity to highlight progress made over the past 18 months.
“The key to our current success is built on collaboration. We work collaboratively with health providers, key education, regional development and health workforce stakeholders and most importantly local communities to collectively address the future health workforce needs of the communities across our region.
“The official opening of our main office and training facility here at Baillie Henderson Hospital is testament to the strength of our collaboration. The building, kindly provided by Darling Downs Health, with a financial contribution to the refurbishment, along with the significant funding provided by the Federal Government has provided SRQH with a home base and a place where students can access crucial training facilities to enhance their learning.
“We look forward to progressing our plans and long term strategies to build a sustainable rural health workforce across Southern Queensland,” he said.