Recruiting, retaining and supporting General Practitioners (GPs), Nurses and Allied Health Professionals in rural New South Wales, Australia

Living and Working in Rural NSW

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Rural General Practice

Rural and Remote Health
Cultural Diversity
Standard of Living
Recreation and Education
Involvement in a New Community

 

Rural General Practice

General Practice is the provision of primary, continuing, comprehensive 'whole person' care for individuals, families and communities (as defined by the Australian Government Department of Health). General Practice involves the ability to take responsible action on any medical problem a patient presents, whether or not it forms part of an ongoing doctor-patient relationship. 

Practising in rural New South Wales (NSW) Australia provides very real rewards: challenging and exciting medicine, excellent lifestyle opportunities and work-life balance, as well as fantastic financial benefits.

Research has found that rural doctors earn more than their urban counterparts, with earnings for General Practitioners (GPs) in outer regional, rural and remote Australia at 11.5% higher than GPs working in major cities. Click here for a guide to what a GP in rural NSW can expect to earn.

Click here for more information on life and work as a GP in rural NSW and how the NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) can help you to achieve it.

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Rural and Remote Health

Rural and remote NSW is made up of many diverse settlements including pastoral, farming, mining, tourism and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, which have different social and economic determinants of health.

Rural and remote areas in NSW share common traits such as smaller and more dispersed communities, generally older populations, higher levels of health risks and higher rates of disease, chronic disease and injury. People living in these areas generally have less access to health services with shortages of almost all health professions and health-related infrastructure.

In response to these issues, RDN plays a lead role in providing a highly skilled and continuing medical and health workforce in regional, rural and remote NSW.

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Cultural Diversity

Australia is a culturally diverse society with a high percentage of people from European backgrounds but many other cultures are also represented. As one of the most multicultural nations in the world, Australians are welcoming and inclusive of newcomers from other countries. Much of this can be attributed to an open and tolerant community that celebrates the contribution of other cultures and believes in freedom of speech. Australians accept the differences of other people - and expect the same of others. RDN endorses the freedom of speech and richness that a culturally diverse society brings; however, embracing Australian culture is also recognised and encouraged.

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Standard of Living

Australia has had a high standard of living and one of the best healthcare systems in the world. While there are many and various work opportunities and locations available to doctors, rural General Practice can give you a sense of pride and satisfaction that comes from participating in the well-being of a community where you provide complete patient care.

In addition to receiving an excellent remuneration, choosing a rural lifestyle for you and your family can result in the benefit of a work-life balance that is not always available in large cities. Rural and regional NSW offers a mix of smaller and larger towns, many of which are growing cities in their own right. For information about the benefits of living and working in seven of NSW's leading regional centres (Albury, Armidale, Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga), visit Evocities.

Click here for more information on life and work as a GP in rural NSW and how RDN can help you to achieve it.

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Recreation and Education

Regional and rural NSW offers a full range of recreational and educational facilities including access to public and private schooling in local areas, especially during junior/primary years. Secondary education may require children to travel to a nearby larger town and regular bus services to schools are generally available. Families with temporary residency are likely to have to pay fees to enable children to attend school in NSW. More information on public schooling is available from the NSW Department of Education website.

A good climate is something readily associated with Australia and outdoor activities are popular. Team sports including soccer, football, netball and hockey are readily accessible, as are other sports such as golf, swimming, horse-riding, water-skiing and fishing. Bushwalking and camping are also popular pursuits. Rural NSW is a great place to live and raise a family where you can be as active or as relaxed as you choose to be.

More information on rural NSW is available from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Tourism NSW websites.

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Involvement in a New Community

RDN experience has shown that the successful transition to rural NSW plays a major role in the happiness and overall success of relocation. Some of the most valuable ways to become involved in a new community require little or no financial cost, especially considering the valuable contacts and associations that can be made. Suggested ways to become involved in a new community include:

SPORT

Australian culture is heavily involved in sport. Whether through adult or child participation in sport, there is a sporting organisation that will meet your family’s needs. Popular sports include soccer/football, netball and tennis. These sports are played both indoors and outdoors and at various levels from local to country representative grades. Supporting family members in their sport can be rewarding at many levels, as a family unit or in establishing friendships within a community. Parents are often needed for referee duties and to work in the canteen at the local sport field.

PARENTS & CITIZENS ASSOCIATION

Every government school within NSW has a Parents and Citizens Association (P&C). The local P&C is a good way to support your children at school and become involved in their education. Participating in the P&C can also provide you with a better understanding of upcoming activities and events held within the school.

COMMUNITY GROUPS

Not-for-profit community-based organisations comprise voluntary members who contribute their time and energy to provide a community service. These organisations foster practical links between the community sector and the general public, business and government. Examples include community groups that help the environment (e.g. Landcare), elderly (e.g. Meals on Wheels) and disadvantaged families (e.g. The Smith Family). At a grass-roots level, such groups contribute a valuable service to their local community and at the same time provide an opportunity for members to contribute to society, learn new skills and meet new and like-minded people.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Many rural towns host events which are based on strong community involvement and support. Examples include farmers markets that showcase local produce and crafts, school fetes, charity events and community festivals. Community events bring together rural people and provide an opportunity for locals to socialise. Local participation helps to stengthen the social fabric of rural towns and affirms the willingness of the community to work together. Larger scale and regional events, such as the Scone Horse Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival and Bellingen Community Markets also bring tourists to rural areas.

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