Memorandum of Understanding to stimulate allied health professionals in Riverland

Stronger local health services are expected to emerge from a memorandum of understanding between Flinders University and the Renmark Paringa Council, which will explore the possibilities of delivering paramedical medicine courses to enable in-demand occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech-language pathologists to be trained. and stay in the Riverland area.

With South Australians living in regional, rural and remote areas without access to paramedical health professionals and disability services, the MoU aims to address these shortages by seeking opportunities for health programs. local education and workforce development.

The MoU, which allows for wider collaboration between Flinders University and the Renmark Paringa Council, was signed by the Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University, Professor Colin Stirling and the acting CEO of the Renmark Paringa Council. , Tim Pfeiffer.

Flinders University has identified a range of highly demanded paramedical services that could be supported through targeted education programs. By developing a local workforce, it would be possible to fill the shortages in the Riverland of professionals in speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics, social work and development education. .

But the deal isn’t limited to paramedic health, with the university and council exploring other study possibilities in the Riverland as well.

Professor Chris Brebner, Acting Vice Chancellor (Innovation in Learning and Teaching) at the Center for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at Flinders University, said the MoU deepens existing University programs and connections in the Riverland.

“The MoU paves the way for future collaboration – developing an even closer relationship with the Council, with the aim of providing richer education and workforce opportunities. “

“The University looks forward to working with the Council to attract, educate and help retain people in the region, while developing higher education opportunities that meet local health needs,” said Professor Brebner.

Renmark Paringa Council Mayor Neil Martinson said “Flinders University’s desire to expand its educational offering fits well with our 2021-2024 corporate plan, which sets out the following actions:

  • advocate for the improvement of regional health services to state and federal agencies
  • collaborate with education providers and industry (including agriculture) to seek to attract and develop higher education opportunities associated with the skills required in the region

“This is an important solution to a major problem we have in the region, which is attracting and retaining talent. “

Mayor Martinson said: “We have the data to prove that we are losing a lot of our young people in metropolitan areas so that they can continue their education and work. Providing an opportunity for those who wish to attend paramedical medicine courses provides choice for our young people and, in turn, retention of young people and talent.

The University is exploring the potential for students to undertake paramedical degrees at the Renmark campus from 2023, supported by internships at local hospitals and health practices.

Flinders’ potential expansion of its training offerings in the Riverland also bodes well for existing and future paramedical health practices in the Riverland that seek internships for students and employees in the years to come.

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