New Funding Continues Rural Emergency Medicine

Peter Chellis (left) and Dr Tim Baker (right)
General
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
A program to develop rural emergency medicine will continue for a further three years following new funding commitments.

The Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine is a partnership between Deakin University's School of Medicine, Portland District Health and South West Healthcare (Warrnambool).

The program has been funded since 2007 from Alcoa of Australia and the Department of Health. The funding has been recently renewed for a further three years.

Dr Tim Baker, Director of the Centre and emergency physician with Portland District Health (PDH) and South West Healthcare's Warrnambool Base Hospital, said the program was leading to improvements in rural emergency medicine.

Changes to health care can take a long time and having stable funding over close to a decade by the time this funding is finished really helps to develop rural emergency medicine,Dr Baker said.

The program includes research, education and community engagement to explain what happens at an emergency department.

As part of the program Dr Baker is based at PDH’s urgent care centre one day each week in a training and mentoring role.

Alcoa values the health and safety of our employees and the communities where we operate above all else and our partnership with Deakin School of Medicine through the Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine supports this value and extends its benefits into the wider Portland community,Mr Chellis said.

As a significant employer in regional communities across Australia we understand the importance of quality rural health services. The service model of the Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine will develop the capacity for south west Victorian communities to respond to medical emergencies, he said.

On behalf of Alcoa, I am proud to announce an ongoing partnership with Deakin School of Medicine and the Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine for the next three years contributing $100,000 per year, as we believe forming partnerships with community and health organisations strengthens our business and adds to the sustainability our community.

The Head of Deakin's School of Medicine, Professor Jon Watson, welcomed the ongoing support for the Centre.

It has been terrific to see CREM grow and develop, and this recent funding announcement will help further, and allow CREM to contribute to the coordination and delivery of effective emergency medical management in South West Victoria and provide leadership in wider rural emergency medicine research, education, service development, and community engagement across the state,Dr Watson said.

The PDH emergency department deals with about 8000 presentations each year.

Four PDH staff members are undertaking their Certificate of Emergency Medicine training while being supervised by experienced emergency physicians as part of the program.


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