Back to top anchor

Supporting allied health professionals in rural areas

54 months
Approved budget:
Mrs Sarah Walker
Dr Ewan Kennedy
Professor Garry Nixon
Health issue:
Other (generic health or health services)
Proposal type:
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Lay summary
Rural healthcare is recognised as having unique complexities and challenges. In New Zealand residents of rural towns have overall higher levels of socioeconomic deprivation, higher avoidable and amenable mortality rates, and poorer access to health services. Maori are more likely than non-Maori to live in rural areas. Allied health professionals provide efficient and cost-effective health services to communities, resulting in improved health outcomes. A better understanding of their scope of practice, the challenges they face, and the attributes and skills needed to reach the full potential of their roles in the rural context, will inform rural healthcare delivery, health professional training and government policy. There may be significant opportunity to improve recruitment and retention in rural areas by developing rural training pathways. This project will help ensure that New Zealand rural communities benefit from the right mix of skilled health professionals to best meet their health care needs.