Building Capacity in Rural and Regional Services

Action Plan 1: Building Capacity in Rural and Regional Services

Project 1: Building medical workforce capacity in rural and remote Tasmania

The Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway (TRGP) facilitates medical students and junior doctors toward a career as a Rural Generalist in Tasmania by providing a visible career pathway. The TRGP aims to train, attract and retain Rural Generalists in rural and regional Tasmania, who can work with rural and regional communities to address their local health needs.

A Rural Generalist (RG) is a medical practitioner who is trained to meet the specific current and future health care needs of Australian rural and remote communities, in a sustainable and cost effective way, by providing both comprehensive general practice and emergency care, and required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and community settings as part of a rural healthcare team' - Collingrove Agreement.

In Tasmania, this may be a Rural Generalist who works as a rural general practitioner (GP), provides a service at the local District Hospital Emergency Department, and has advanced skills in an area required by the community.

The 'Building Medical Workforce Capacity in Rural and Remote Tasmania' project provides capacity for the TRGP to continue and expand between 2018 and 2020.

Please visit our website Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway (TRGP) to find out more.

Key Contact

rural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au

Project 2: Build Allied Health Capability

This project aim is developing a Wellness Framework for Tasmania to support our health system and empower the people of Tasmania to manage their own wellbeing.

Initiative One - Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway

The term 'Allied Health Rural Generalist' (AHRG) refers to a service, or to a position or practitioner delivering the service, that responds to the broad range of healthcare needs of a rural, regional or remote community. The AHRG pathway is comprised of:

  • Service models to address challenges in provision of the broad range of healthcare needs of regional, rural and remote communities.
  • Workforce and employment structures that support the development of rural generalist practice capabilities; and
  • An educational program tailored to the needs of AHRG practitioners. This initiative aims to develop an AHRG pathway within the Tasmanian Health Service through a proof of concept phase of four FTE supported trainee positions, and provision of four development scholarships for experienced Allied Health Professionals. Through development of the pathway and associated resources the project aims to develop a supported and sustainable AHRG pathway for the Tasmanian Health Service into the future.

Initiative Two - Podiatry Prescribing Scholarships

With recent amendments to the Tasmania Poisons Act 1971 podiatrists working within Tasmania are now able to prescribe scheduled medicines if they have been endorsed by the Podiatry Board of Australia. This initiative aims to build a critical mass of eligible podiatrists to facilitate the implementation of podiatry prescribing in the Tasmanian Health Service through the provision of scholarships for completion of required education and training. Podiatry prescribing will enable more timely access to pharmacotherapy when it is clinically indicated and within the scope of practice of an endorsed prescribing podiatrist. This will facilitate timely care by reducing the need for patients to visit another health professional for the same presenting concern.

Project activities aim to support scholarship holders in completion of required education training and supervision, the development of a pathway within the Tasmanian Health Service to become credentialed and authorised to practice with an endorsement for scheduled medicines and the supporting resources this practice will require.

Key Contacts

Project 3: Develop a wellness framework

This project is developing a Wellness Framework for Tasmania to support our health system and empower the people of Tasmania to manage their own wellbeing.

'Wellness' refers to a state of optimal physical, mental and emotional health. It is expressive of the dynamic relationship between people and their physical and social environment.

The concept of wellness expresses a shift away from medical models of treatment to disease prevention and self-management, with consumers partnering with clinicians to achieve the goal of being well rather than seeking a cure or merely being "treated".

Project activities aim at building and respecting the personal autonomy and capacity of individual consumers, and improving consumers' ability to engage constructively with the health system and its providers. Project activities include:

  • Community consultations to hear about the kinds of things that keep us well, or that get in the way of well-being, and the kinds of things that the health system needs to do to support well-being
  • Training and delivery of Stanford self-management programs across Tasmania
  • Diabetes best practice upskilling to remotely located clinicians
  • Clinical scholarships to build capacity to deliver patient-centred care
  • Workshops for consumers and clinicians on negotiating care
  • Singing and dancing classes for people with Parkinsons Disease
  • Services for people with persistent pain.

Key contact

Linda Proietti Wilson, Project Manager, Wellness Framework
Ph: (03) 6777 4239
Email: linda.proietti@health.tas.gov.au