SA doctor appointed as Inaugural National Rural Health Commissioner

Monday, 23 October 2017

South Australian rural doctor and academic Professor Paul Worley has been appointed the inaugural National Rural Health Commissioner, the Federal Government has announced.

Professor Worley, Country Health SA’s Executive Director Medical Services, will take on the role from the middle of November.

“Taking on this national role is a huge honour and a great opportunity for me to extend and expand the work that’s already being done here in SA and other jurisdictions in order to create sustainable health services across country Australia,” he said.

Based in Adelaide, Professor Worley is an academic rural doctor and past Dean of Medicine at Flinders University whose research into rural medical education paved the way for a paradigm shift in medical training, first in country SA and then globally.

“Much of the evidence behind the likely success of the rural generalist pathway was developed in South Australia by the internationally-recognised rural medical training undertaken at Flinders University and other institutions,” Professor Worley said.

“Rural generalists are doctors who provide both primary care services and secondary care services, like obstetrics, anaesthetics, advanced mental health, Indigenous health, surgery and emergency services.

“I’m looking forward to travelling around Australia and collaborating with health professionals and country health jurisdictions to put in place sustainable rural health and medical workforces in every State and Territory.”

Country Health SA Chief Executive Officer Maree Geraghty said it was fantastic Professor Worley’s skills have been recognised at a national level.

“I have no doubt that Paul’s extensive academic and medical background makes him an outstanding person for this job,” Ms Geraghty said.

“We look forward to working in partnership with Paul as the Commissioner to enhance the State’s rural workforce and other regional health workforces around Australia.”

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