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New Health Scholarship Programme Announced

New Health Scholarship Programme Announced

A new health scholarship programme to address identified health workforce gaps in the Southland region has been launched by the Community Trust of Southland (CTOS), Chairperson Alison Broad announced today.

“The Community Trust of Southland is providing scholarship funding of up to $90,000 per annum for this initiative, to be known as the Murihiku Health Scholarship Fund,” Ms Broad said.

The scholarships will be awarded for study and/or training expressly for current or secured future personnel in the Southland health sector. Applications for the first round of scholarship funding will be advertised in the next fortnight, and six-monthly thereafter.

“We are working in partnership with the Southland District Health Board (SDHB) to put our funding alongside the Board’s health sector knowledge so that we can allocate scholarships in a way to best address gaps in the health workforce,” Ms Broad said.

SDHB Chairman Dennis Cairns said that the scholarship programme was a great initiative for Southland and demonstrated the Trust’s recognition that having an appropriately skilled health workforce was the foundation for providing excellent health care to the Southland community.

“It is pleasing to be working in partnership with the Community Trust of Southland for the benefit and advancement of not only Southland health professionals, but of health service delivery to our community as well,” he said.

Examples of where a scholarship might be awarded could include a nurse who wishes to upskill to become a specialist Nurse Practitioner, a school leaver who would like to attend Medical School to become a doctor; or someone who wishes to train to become a midwife.

“Where appropriate, the scholarship recipients may be bonded to return and work in Southland for an agreed period following the completion of their studies, so that they bring their skills and experience back to the community which is supporting them,” Ms Broad said.

The panel will comprise of representatives from the Community Trust of Southland, SDHB and local iwi, plus additional panel members appointed to ensure that the panel’s knowledge base covers areas such as rural health, primary care, secondary care, Maori health and health workforce needs.

“We are enthusiastic about this new health-based scholarship programme and look forward to the initial round of applications, which will be advertised in the next fortnight,” Ms Broad said.

The Murihiku Health Scholarship is the latest to be offered as part of a series of scholarship programmes run by the Community Trust of Southland. Other scholarships include Tertiary Education ($220,000 per annum); Sport ($50,000 per annum) and Arts ($50,000 per annum).

ENDS

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