Rural Health Precinct

Making a difference in rural health
We're working collaboratively to promote health and wellbeing for all people in regional and remote communities across Australia.

Our Rural Health Precinct is improving health equity and outcomes for people living, working and studying in regional and remote New South Wales.

Through our rural clinical schools, we are building the rural health workforce knowledge and capacity by delivering expert academic teaching, leading research, and fostering collaborative partnerships with universities, local health services, and community organisations. 

Map of Rural Health Precinct

Our impact in motion

The University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) is a multidisciplinary centre of excellence delivering distinctive education for medical, allied health, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry students in a thriving academic environment in the heart of the Northern Rivers.  

The UCRH works in partnership with Western Sydney University, the University of Wollongong, Southern Cross University and many other universities around Australia to build rural health workforce capacity. Our collaborations in teaching and research with the Northern NSW Local Health District and community health providers nurture excellence, and we are at the forefront of developments in service-based learning in multidisciplinary primary healthcare.

Our research

The UCRH conducts leading research programs that contribute to large-scale health services and environmental health research collaborations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care.

Our world-class researchers have funding support from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australian Research Council (ARC) and publish in peer-reviewed journals.

To learn more about the UCRH, visit the UCRH website.

The School of Rural Health is committed to building our rural health workforce by offering University of Sydney Doctor of Medicine (MD) students the opportunity to live and study in the thriving regional communities of Dubbo and Orange, while being supported by a local team of expert clinical, academic and professional staff.

Medical students in Dubbo and Orange gain broader clinical exposure, experience and insight into rural health providing them with the aptitude, knowledge and skills to provide quality care for people in regional and remote Australia.

University of Sydney medical students can complete one-year extended rural placements for either the third or final year of their degree at our sites in Dubbo or Orange. In addition to this, the School of Rural Health in Dubbo now offers students the opportunity to complete the entire four-year postgraduate Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree in Dubbo.

To learn more about completing placements at the School of Rural Health, visit the Studying at the School of Rural Health webpage.

Doctor of Medicine – Dubbo Stream

The Dubbo Stream has been developed under the Australian Government’s Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network (MDMSN), which is establishing five new regional medical programs in NSW and Victoria. The aim is to give students a broad understanding of rural life, the health of rural communities, and the organisation and delivery of rural and remote health services, with the goal of encouraging more practitioners to consider a career in rural or remote medical practice. The MDMSN will also aim to attract more interest from rural students who may already be considering a career in medicine but would prefer not to relocate to Sydney or other metropolitan cities.  

An investment of more than $7 million to construct new education buildings and state-of-the-art facilities at the School of Rural Health in Dubbo supports the delivery of the Dubbo Stream. This adds to the already established site of teaching, administration and student accommodation buildings. Clinical teaching is centred on the newly redeveloped Dubbo Hospital, which has a wide range of specialist capabilities. 

The Dubbo Stream is only available to students eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place and pathways are available for Indigenous students and those with rural backgrounds. The 24 students in each cohort of the Dubbo Stream will also have the opportunity to undertake remote medicine placements in western and far west NSW. 

To learn more about the Doctor of Medicine - Dubbo Stream, visit the Complete your medical degree in Dubbo webpage.

Our research

The School of Rural Health conducts research and evaluation activities that reduce population health inequities and promote the rural health workforce. Through collaborative partnerships with health providers, community organisations, other universities and Local Health Districts our research projects aim to inform and influence the development of strategies designed to ensure optimal health outcomes for rural communities.

The Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH) offers health students a rare opportunity to experience rural and remote practice in Far West and Western NSW and Northwest Victoria. The department has three academic campuses located in Broken Hill (Broken Hill Academic Centre), Bourke (North West Academic Centre), and Dareton (South West Academic Centre). Collectively, these campuses have a rural and remote geographical footprint that covers approximately 280 000 square kilometers in NSW and northwest Victoria.  The aim of the department is to address health inequities through our contributions to the development of a rural-ready, future fit and sustainable health workforce and accessible service delivery models.  This includes departmental contributions to cultural education and culturally safe practice, acknowledging and respecting the thirteen First Nations Peoples on whose traditional lands departmental activity is undertaken.

Students gain unique learning opportunities and valuable insight into rural, remote and First Nations health and wellbeing through placements in health, wellbeing, education and social care settings. The department has a strong commitment to contextualising academic service-learning and community engagement, aligning student learning and service contributions to the identified needs and priorities of our unique communities. More recently, the department has made significant commitments to the development and implementation of extended duration placements for nursing students and is exploring the opportunity to co-design similar placement models for allied health disciplines.

BHUDRH offer placements for undergraduate and postgraduate allied health, nursing, pharmacy, dental, oral health and medical students from all Australian universities. On an average week hosting between 50 – 60 health students across our region. Our expert team of academic, professional and First Nations staff facilitate placements to ensure students have high quality learning, engagement, accommodation, access to resources and facilities, and receive a high standard of support, pastoral care, and guidance during their placement experiences.

Our research

The research undertaken by the BHUDRH aims to enhance national expertise in rural, remote and First Nations health and health workforce research, and translate this research into policy and practice. Working collaboratively with health, community, regional, Sydney Nursing School, and the Faculty of Medicine and Health partners to undertake public health, health service, workforce and clinical research to assist in the development and delivery of health workforce and service contributions of priority and relevance to our regions.

To learn more about the BHUDRH, visit the BHUDRH website

News at the Rural Health Precinct