Making a difference, together
By understanding the situation our region is facing and partnering with us, you can help make rural health matter.
JCU is dedicated to improving the health of our region through the provision of a fit-for-purpose workforce and through research to discover solutions to significant health issues. We work together with communities and partners to understand the need and effectively deliver on the investment by government to improve health outcomes. It is important that continued and future investments provide training, resources and infrastructure to do this.
Experience rural and regional healthcare
Health inequity and adverse outcomes
The heart of rural Australia is its vibrant, diverse, and authentic communities. But for many of them, there is something vitally important missing.
People who live in regional, rural and remote areas have poorer health than their metropolitan counterparts and suffer from barriers to equitable health care. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in these areas experience even greater health disparities and suffer from the lack of a technically and culturally suitable health workforce.
Redistributing the medical workforce
James Cook University (JCU) is committed to addressing the shortage of health professionals in regional, rural and remote Australia by developing a skilled, fit-for-purpose workforce through the College of Medicine and Dentistry.
The College is delivering work-ready graduates to meet the needs of rural, remote and regional Australia. In addition, we provide training for specialist GPs and collaborate with hospitals and health services to offer integrated career pathways for junior doctors to specialise in our region through the Regional Training Hubs scheme.
Addressing workforce needs
An integrated training network
JCU’s network extends across regional, rural and remote Queensland, with hands-on training opportunities for clinical placements in underserved communities.
JCU partners with hospital and health services, primary and allied health care clinics, and Aboriginal Medical Services to ensure students, registrars and specialists across the health disciplines have extensive rural experience in communities that need them most.
Through NQRTH we provide an integrated pathway connecting medical students and junior doctors with opportunities to train as specialists in Cairns, Central West, Mackay, North West, Torres and Cape, and Townsville.
The JCU General Practice program will include 13 regional training offices from the Sunshine Coast to Thursday Island with more than 360 accredited GP training practices.
Pictured left: Explore our training region
JCU making a difference
Discover Our Impact
The evidence is clear: while the initial costs are higher, regionally-based programs are vastly more effective in delivering rural workforce outcomes, and ultimately better health and prosperity for regional communities.
In aligning the training pipeline from regional medical school to a rural GP career, JCU’s unique joined-up training model is making an impact. View our Making Rural Health Matter brochure, factsheets, reports and videos to see the impact we are making.
Helping Close the Gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
Education and initiatives aimed at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equity are a priority for the College.
By working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, services and organisations we are producing health professionals who are trained to deliver culturally safe care. We aim to work together to deliver a sustainable workforce across disciplines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, but also to increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals across the region. Working closely with Aboriginal and Islander Community Controlled Health Services, peak bodies and professional organisations in education, service and research activities is vital for achieving this goal.
Researching a healthier future for the Tropics
JCU extends its commitment to the health of regional, rural and remote communities through a range of locally-relevant, innovative research initiatives. Through centres of excellence, College-led research projects, and institutes, we are discovering solutions to the health issues of most importance to tropical Australia. JCU’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) spans public health, biomolecular, clinical, translational, and health systems research.
Discover more stories
JCU’s integrated training pipeline from student to specialist is made possible by partner organisations and initiatives that share our commitment to the health of our regional, rural and remote communities.
Our funding partners include Queensland Health, Australian General Practice Training (AGPT), the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training and associated initiatives; John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program, the University Department of Rural Health, Rural Clinical Schools and JCU’s Northern Queensland Regional Training Hubs.