A new clinical training facility at the Cooma Hospital will expand healthcare access for residents across the region following its official opening today.
The training facility will support medical, nursing, midwifery and allied health students to learn directly from health professionals and pursue their careers in Cooma.
Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the new training facility will ensure people in Cooma and the surrounding region have better access to healthcare in their community, where and when they need it.
“On average, we know Australians living in our regions may experience poorer access to health services, leading to poorer health,” Minister Hunt said.
“The innovative clinical service hub brings providers under one roof, making it easier for people living in the Snowy Mountains region to access health services.”
The Australian Government invested $3.25 million to construct the training facility next to Cooma Hospital, and an additional $3.39 to build short-term, residential student accommodation within walking distance of the hospital.
Minister for Regional Health, Mark Coulton, said the new facility was another example of the Government’s commitment to providing Australians with world-class healthcare no matter where they live.
“Evidence shows that students who train rurally are more likely to live and work rurally, and this is fundamental to the Government’s approach to building the rural training pipeline for doctors and health professionals,” Minister Coulton said.
“We want to make rural Australia a career destination of choice for young health professionals, and that’s why we are committed to training more medical professionals in the regions to improve access to health services for rural, regional and remote Australians.”
Senator Jim Molan AO DSC attended the official opening of the training facility and said it would not only attract trainees to the region, but also boost the economy and create jobs.
“Local construction projects like this are a great way to grow the local economy, and create and maintain local jobs,” Senator Molan said.
“It’s great these important skills will be retained in Cooma and bring about a real improvement in the quality of life of residents and visitors to the region.”
The Government invested a total of $17 million in 2015, under the Health and Hospitals Fund, to build clinical training facilities and student accommodation on the hospital grounds at Cooma, Bega and Moruya.
The funding was provided to the University of Canberra and the Australian National University.