The future of the NRHSN is looking bright

William, Ben, Carolyn 2017 Media Release

The National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN) Executive Committee is proud to announce ongoing funding and support from the Commonwealth Department of Health.

In a letter received by the NRHSN from the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, the Australian Government has committed to provide funding for the operation of both the NRHSN and Rural Health Clubs for a further three years to December 2020.

The Department states “it is looking forward to its continued support of the important efforts of rural health clubs in encouraging rural health career pathways and fostering a commitment to rural health in the formative stages of the careers of health professionals.” The Department confirmed the NRHSN and Rural Health Clubs play an important role in the Rural Health Training Pipeline.

NRHSN Chair and Medical Student William Moorhead states “It's wonderful to have ongoing funding and support for the NRHSN and Rural Health Clubs. These organisations play a pivotal role in encouraging and promoting rural health to students studying to be the future nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and doctors”.

It is understood that from 2018, the Department will provide Rural Health Club funding directly to universities.  In addition, the Department will fund an administrator to support the NRHSN and support and coordinate activities of the National Network.  A competitive tender process for this role will commence in the next few months.     

The NRHSN represents over 11,000 multidisciplinary health students in all States and Territories. There are 28 rural health clubs that provide opportunities for Rural High School Visits, Indigenous Community Engagement Activities and rural networking events that help medical, nursing and allied health students foster an interest in rural health careers. The NRHSN Executive provides support to rural health clubs through advocacy, research, policy development and assisting clubs in event development.

“We will continue to focus on the key issues in rural health” states NRHSN Vice Chair and Medical Student Benjamin Dodds.  “In 2017 the NRHSN has four key priority areas: Positive and supported rural training pathways, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, Mental health training for all health students and improving the health outcomes of rural and remote Australians”. The NRHSN Executive advocates for all students interested in rural health through the development of Position Papers and involvement in key stakeholder meetings such as the Assistant Health Minister’s Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable and the National Rural Health Alliance Council.

Interviews regarding the future of NRHSN are available with:

  • William Moorhead, NRHSN Chair
  • Benjamin Dodds, NRHSN Vice Chair

Media inquiries: Ian Mayer (03) 9860 4700