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2 May 2017
Rural Workforce Agency Network to administer John Flynn Placement Program
The Rural Workforce Agency Network, of which the RDWA is a member, will administer the nation-wide John Flynn Placement Program (JFPP) from 1 July, 2017. The Rural Workforce Agencies will administer the JFPP in their respective states and the Northern Territory via Local Coordination Teams.
The JFPP is an Australian Government initiative and is designed to attract the future medical workforce to a remote and rural career. Each year the Program provides an additional 300 undergraduate medical students the opportunity to experience clinical practice and lifestyle in remote and rural locations across Australia. Successful eligible applicants, from 20 participating universities, spend eight weeks over three to four years in a remote or rural community with a one-to-one professional mentor, community contact and host. In any year in excess of 1,100 undergraduate medical students participate in the important program.
Health Workforce Queensland has been contracted as the Lead Agency for the RWAN and the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Mitchell, said securing the John Flynn Placement Program is a significant achievement for Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) and the future remote and rural workforce.
“Rural Workforce Agencies have a long track record of success in designing, implementing, overseeing and evaluating health workforce programs in remote, rural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and have a thorough understanding of the complexities in attracting and retaining the future health workforce to remote and rural locations” Mr Mitchell said.
“Early exposure to the clinical, social, and cultural aspects of remote and rural communities through the John Flynn Placement Program, as well as the continuing personal and professional connections, is a key influence in medical students undertaking a rural career in the future.”
This unique decentralised model enables Rural Workforce Agencies to engage with JFPP participants on a local level, whilst program is managed and uniformity is maintained at a national level through the RWAN.
Mr Mitchell said he would like to thank and acknowledge the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) for their provision of the John Flynn Placement Program over the past 15 years.
“ACRRM’s past success in administering the Program demonstrates the need to continue delivering this beneficial Australia-wide remote and rural workforce strategy” Mr Mitchell concluded.
The Rural Workforce Agencies and ACRRM will work closely with the Department of Health to ensure a smooth transition for current and future medical students and key stakeholders participating in the John Flynn Placement Program. Rural Workforce Agencies will be in contact with current JFPP students, mentors, and community hosts and contacts as part of the transition process.