In Australia, as elsewhere in the world, recruiting, training, supporting and retaining a rural health workforce is a long-standing and continuing problem. The rural health workforce is numerically deficient, with long-standing vacancies and high turnover being common features of rural health services. It has been long-recognised that training for rural practice is a core element in redressing the problem; but appropriate support and skills maintenance opportunities for rural health professionals are equally important in retaining health professionals in rural practice. Increasingly, preparation for rural life in advance of arriving in a rural community and support structures for spouses and family have been recognised as important elements of recruitment and retention.
Increasing recognition of the important difference between recruitment and retention has led to specific strategies being developed for each issue.
Centroc has developed a Matrix of what is being undertaken by the various agencies and member Councils to address this issue. This Matrix identified the need to develop a regional web based tool to be used as a portal for target audiences to market the region as a destination for health workforce and provide a navigation tool of opportunities on offer. The objectives of the proposed portal include:
1. To provide a navigation tool to assist with identifying and accessing training pathways, bursaries, scholarships and other opportunities
2. To provide information on health workforce agencies, stakeholders and entry opportunities within the region
3. To provide information about local councils and incentives available as a destination for health workforce
Beyond the Range is supported by the Cadia Valley Operations Community Partnerships Program.
In November 2015 the Beyond the Range website was officially launched by the Minister for Rural Health, Senator Fiona Nash.
The website aimed at attracting health professionals to the region, is full of information and lifestyle choices in Central NSW.
Please visit the website at www.beyondtherange.com.au you can also follow the Beyond the Range facebook site for stories, news, events, job opportunities and up to the minute posts connecting you to our Central NSW communities.