The Australian Government has formally extended the Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) for a further three years taking the program through to 30 June 2022.
The program will continue to support urban-based health professionals to work in remote health clinics and Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations in the Northern Territory for placements of between three to 12 weeks.
These health professionals currently include doctors, nurses, audiologists, dentists, dental therapists and dental assistants.
Commenting on the announcement RAHC Chair, Ms Pat Anderson AO said, “Since 2008 we have built strong and productive partnerships with all our stakeholders and a significant pool of talented and highly-motivated health professionals who have answered the call to be part of the effort.
“Ensuring the sustainability of this program for another three years is critical to people living in these remote communities and works toward Closing the Gap in health outcomes for First Nations people.”
The first placements under the programme were in December 2008 when two registered nurses went to Ampilatwatja in the Northern Territory on a 10-day placement. Since then, more than 6,100 placements have been undertaken by 1,150 health professionals representing nearly 540 years of service. Each year the actual number of placements has exceeded the contracted maximum under the funding agreement.