Date - 29 October 2019
In an historic day for SQRH, Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton officially opened the SQRH Toowoomba training facility, praising the collaborative work conducted since November 2017 as the “perfect model of health training”.
Minister Coulton said the new facility, a fully refurbished heritage building at Baillie Henderson Hospital, would enable rural students to train closer to home, and support students to experience rural placements.
“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.
“The increase of rural health students will boost the number of qualified health professionals working in the Darling Downs and South West, build the region’s capacity to train students and support a better distributed health workforce,” he said.
Minister Coulton toured the facility and was particularly interested in the telehealth studios where SQRH staff demonstrated how telehealth services can provide health assessments and students supervision across large distances.
SQRH Board Chair Derek Tuffield OAM was delighted to welcome over 60 consortium representatives, stakeholders, health providers, students and SQRH staff to the opening and outlined the successes achieved in increasing the number of students taking up rural clinical placements.
Darling Downs Health Board Chair Mike Horan AM described SQRH as the “jewel in the crown” of the health training for the region and looked forward to the growth of the University Department of Rural Health on the Baillie Henderson Hospital campus.
SQRH Director Associate Professor Geoff Argus said he took great pride in the achievements of the SQRH team and outlined the progress of the organisation since its inception in November 2017.
The UQ Provost Aiden Byrne, USQ Chancellor John Dornbusch and USQ Vice Chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie agreed the official opening was a great success and demonstrated how SQRH is helping to build a sustainable rural health workforce through a strong foundation of collaboration.
The SQRH Toowoomba facility gained $1.3 million of Federal Government funding plus $250,000 Darling Downs Health funding and accommodates over 20 clinical academic, research, professional and support staff.