Abstract: This report examines whether the financial support provided under the Postgraduate Scholarship encourages allied health professionals to provide clinical services in rural and remote Australia. The scholarship exists to fill the gap of uneven distribution of allied health services in Australia, which will result in eliminating an over-supply of allied health professionals in cities and a shortage in many rural and remote areas. Postgraduate scholarships are offered to give more allied health professionals an opportunity to improve their clinical skills. The findings indicate that the objectives of the Postgraduate Scholarship has a powerful impact on attracting more qualified allied health professionals to practice in rural and remote areas and to remain in the rural and remote areas for longer periods of time. 74% of the survey respondents are currently providing clinical services in ASGC-RA 2-5 areas. Of these, 75% are intending to remain in rural and remote areas until their retirement or indefinitely. The research is based on online surveys of 200 scholars who completed a postgraduate scholarship between 2007 and 2012. The survey response rate is 67%. 80% of the surveyed respondents are currently providing clinical services and of those, 74 % are employed in ASGC-RA 2 and above areas. Of the scholars surveyed: v The scholarship influenced the decision to provide clinical services in rural and remote areas and remain in a rural and remote area for a longer period of time v 80 percent of survey respondents are currently providing clinical services. v 74 per cent of the survey respondents are currently providing clinical services in ASGC-RA 2 or above areas. Of these 75% will be remain in rural and remote areas until their retirement or indefinitely. v 7 per cent of the survey respondents currently provide clinical services in non rural areas. The majority of these intend to go to rural and remote areas when the opportunity arises and most of them have an intention to go in to rural practice in next 1-5 years. v The scholarship immensely helped scholars, to acquire clinical knowledge. Recommendation and the way forward These survey results offer strong evidence for the need for the Postgraduate Scholarship to continue into the future, in order to assist to fill the gap of uneven distribution of allied health professionals across Australia resulting more balanced distribution of allied health professionals nationally.
Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health, 2013, Nursing and Allied Health Scholarship and Support Scheme (NAHSSS) Australian Rural and Remote Health Professional Scholarship Scheme (ARRHPSS) Allied Health Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme: Survey Report on Completed Scholars from 2007 to 2012, Report, viewed 13 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=2608.