21 November 2023

Local health district shines at Premier's Awards with recognition for outstanding rural programs

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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man presents woman with award

Murrumbidgee Local Health District director of integrated care and allied health, Emma Field, accepts the Highest Quality Healthcare award from NSW Premier Chris Minns. Photo: MLHD.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s (MLHD) rural training program has been recognised at the 2023 Premier’s Awards.

The Murrumbidgee Rural Generalist Training Pathway (MRGTP), also known as the Murrumbidgee Model, was crowned the Highest Quality Healthcare category winner at the annual awards.

Two other MLHD programs were named finalists: the Murrumbidgee Emergency to Community initiative in the Building a Resilient Economy category and the Murrumbidgee Growing Our Own school-based traineeship program in the World-Class Education and Training category.

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MLHD chief executive Jill Ludford praised the staff’s dedication in all three projects.

“At Murrumbidgee Local Health District, we are committed to innovation, collaboration, resilience and true engagement with our rural people,” Ms Ludford said.

“All three of the finalists demonstrate these strengths.”

MLHD director of primary care and Finley GP Dr Alam Yoosuff, who has been running the MRGTP as the program director for the past three years, expressed his joy at the district’s win.

man in hospital ward

MLHD director of primary care and Finley GP Dr Alam Yoosuff. Photo: MLHD.

“The Murrumbidgee Model not only sets a new direction for our state but for the entire country,” Dr Yoosuff said.

“We have pioneered in transforming rural generalist training in our nation.”

MRGTP is an MLHD, University of New South Wales Murrumbidgee Rural Training Hub, NSW Health and Federal Ministry of Health initiative that aims to attract, train, retain and support rural generalist doctors who work in the local health district.

The rural generalist training pathway gives GPs a four-to-six-year contract working across hospitals and GP clinics throughout the MLHD.

The four-year pilot project began in 2021 and has expanded to 80 places across NSW.

MRGTP also recently won the People and Culture category at the 2023 NSW Health Awards.

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The Emergency to Community initiative aims to reduce the number of avoidable emergency department presentations for vulnerable patients.

Ms Ludford said the team of highly skilled MLHD nurses worked closely with patients to improve their treatment, self-management plans and quality of life in the community.

The Murrumbidgee School-Based Traineeship program provides a career pathway from school to work for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students interested in health careers.

The traineeship helps students attain a nationally recognised Vocational Education and Training qualification and Higher School Certificate while gaining valuable work skills and experience through paid employment. Three students entered university through the traineeship to study medicine, while 19 gained employment with MLHD in the past four years.

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