Last month, Huon Valley Council Mayor Bec Enders welcomed Year 2 students from the University of Tasmania (UTAS) School of Medicine to the Rural Communities program, which was held virtually from 7–11 September in 2020.
During the week, a total of 31 students from around the state took part in virtual visits to local medical centres and care facilities, and meeting with health professionals and community groups to learn about the rural health system.
“The Huon Valley has proudly hosted the Rural Communities program for more than ten years,” said Cr Enders. “We thank the UTAS School of Medicine for giving us the opportunity to again welcome students to the program this year.
“Students from last year’s program said they valued the opportunity to learn about the local community’s perspective on healthcare”
“It’s vital that Tasmanian medical students, our doctors of tomorrow, have the opportunity to gain an understanding about the factors that contribute to the health of individuals in rural communities,” said Cr Enders.
“Students from last year’s program said they valued the opportunity to learn about the local community’s perspective on healthcare, and to develop their communication skills.
“We would like to congratulate UTAS staff on their efforts to take the program online this year. They have worked in unprecedent and difficult circumstances to find a solution so that Year 2 students in 2020 don’t miss out on this valuable and enriching opportunity.”
As part of the online welcome, Council’s Manager Environment Services Amanda Blakney gave a presentation on the complexity of rural communities and the diversity of health challenges they face, and how this intersects with the work we do at Council.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the vital role of health care workers, who continually put themselves on the front line to save lives and protect our communities. We want to thank and congratulate the students for deciding to be doctors and their dedication to learning more about rural health issues in Tasmania.”