The South East NSW Health Collaborative project has begun construction of the first of its clinical health training facilities at the Cooma Hospital.
With construction starting on August 9, the centre is the first of three facilities in Cooma, Bega and Moruya that aim to increase training capability and research in nursing, midwifery, allied health and medicine.
The joint venture between the University of Canberra and the Australian National University has received nearly $8million in federal government funding for the three centres, with additional funding provided for student accommodation.
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A UC spokesperson said the UC student accommodation works at Cooma will begin following the completion of the tender process and preliminary work has been undertaken on the Bega site, which includes UC student accommodation, with an official launch in the future.
The centres will make inroads into the issue of accessibility to healthcare in regional areas, as well as offer potential for collaboration, bridge building and professional development between health service staff and the universities.
"Students and healthcare professionals from the universities will be able to engage with the local health workforce in a supportive, meaningful exchange of knowledge and skills that will simultaneously benefit the regional community and open up amazing opportunities for research," Professor Deep Saini, UC vice-chancellor and president, said.
The South East NSW Health Collaborative facilities are expected to be completed in late March 2020.
The Cooma facility will include simulated learning spaces outfitted with state-of-the-art communications infrastructure, seminar spaces and student accommodation, and the project will provide opportunities for students and professionals to immerse themselves in rural healthcare.
"This vital partnership will see ANU medical students learn from high-quality frontline health services in Cooma and creates a cohort of graduates who understand the importance and value of working in our rural, remote and regional communities," Professor Imogen Mitchell, director of the ANU Medical School, said.