Independent evaluation of the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Program: Final report to the Commonwealth Department of Health

KBC Australia, Kristine Battye, Cath Sefton, Joseph Thomas, Sally Butler, Rachel Wilkins, Jane Gordon, Kate M. Kelly

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportResearchpeer-review


The Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program is one of several Commonwealth rural health workforce programs aiming to increase the number of health professionals working in rural, remote and regional Australia. Through the RHMT program and its precursors, the Commonwealth has demonstrated a twenty year commitment to support the training of health students in rural, remote and regional Australia as an initial step towards a rural health career. Twenty-one universities are currently funded under the RHMT program, establishing a national network of 19 Rural Clinical Schools (RCSs) and 16 University Departments of Rural Health (UDRHs) to provide the infrastructure and academic networks for teaching and training. The RHMT program operates in a complex and somewhat fragile environment where geographic health workforce maldistribution exists. It is a health workforce program delivered through the higher education sector where education policies can take precedence over rural workforce policies and as such is impacted by changes in higher education policy and funding. While Commonwealth, state and territory health workforce training and employment policies intersect with the RHMT program, alignment of these programs is not consistently visible or maximised. In April 2019 KBC Australia was commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the RHMT program to assess the extent to which the current design and delivery of the program is achieving the program’s aim of improving the recruitment and retention of medical, nursing, dental and allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia. In addition, the evaluation has considered the benefits to local health delivery from engagement in teaching and training through the RHMT program.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherKBC Australia
Commissioning bodyCommonwealth of Australia. Department of Health.
Number of pages287
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2020


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