The Western Victoria Regional Training Hub (WVRTH) is a collaboration through Deakin University of hospitals and clinical schools in western Victoria, Australia to support specialty medical training in the region. It incorporates the centres of Geelong, Ballarat and Warrnambool, as well as smaller foci. It is based out of Deakin’s Warrnambool Clinical School. This association has been running for five years.
Access to rural healthcare is compromised in many regions, including southwestern Victoria, partly due to workforce shortage (1). Regionally based specialty training assists in retaining doctors in rural areas. The WVRTH was funded in 2017 by the Australian federal government, as one of 26 hubs across Australia in alliance with 21 universities foster local links with specialty training. After five years of hub activities, we reviewed what has been achieved.
This poster details the activities of the WVRTH over a five-year period, as audited by performance indicators and discussion with key stakeholders.
Navigation of funding restrictions between federal and state governments limits some of the courses able to be offered. Yet there has been successful capacity building in the region, based out of Warrnambool, with growing connections with Ballarat, Geelong and smaller centres. There has been liaison with specialty Colleges including ACEM, RACS and ACCRM.
There has been marked progress through the WVRTH building training capacity in our footprint in our first five years. In the future we aim to continue to be a part of the path that creates more rural clinicians across specialty areas, to better serve our community with the locally embedded clinicians they deserve (2).
1. Schoo A, Lawson S, Carson D. Towards equity and sustainability of rural and remote health services access: supporting social capital and integrated organisational and professional development. BMC Health Services Research 2016; 16:111 DOI 10.1186/s12913-016-1359-9
2. May JA, Scott A The road less travelled: supporting physicians to practice rurally. Med J Aust 2021; 215 (1): 29-30. DOI: 10.5694/mja2.51125