Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) is an initiative of the Committe of Presidents of Medical Colleges and the Australian Government.
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Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) is an
initiative of the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

Each Specialist College contributes to the operation and management of the scheme.

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Contact Rural Health
Continuing Education (RHCE)

Email RHCE
Phone 02 9256 5419
Visit the RHCE Web Site

Communication and Collaboration Keys to bridging the distance for health practitioners working in rural and remote parts of Australia.

The tyranny of distance is a phrase often used when listing the many challenges for medical specialists working outside of major centres. 

That tyranny is about to be lessened by a number of online e-Learning and CPD resources soon to be launched. 

Most of these projects have been the collaborative efforts of several of the Specialist Medical Colleges and have been made possible by funding from the RHCE Stream One Program.

Online Resource for Physicians Working in Aboriginal Child Health

A series of online modules focusing on Australian Aboriginal Child health will be available from  20 August 2012.

Supported by online forums, the modules are designed to be case-based and interactive and will look at:

  • cultural awareness relating to Aboriginal families and communities
  • the social determinants of Aboriginal child health – past, present and future
  • the spectrum of common illnesses in Aboriginal children in remote and urban settings (including ear, skin, and eye infections, anaemia, bronchiectasis, rheumatic heart disease and post-infectious glomerulonephritis)
  • developmental problems, including Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and the effects of early life trauma (adverse social, nutritional and emotional experiences) on development

The facilitated online forum discussions will be open from Monday 20 August until Sunday 23 September 2012, with involvement from Aboriginal health workers, cultural services officers and medical experts.

The modules will also include video and audio footage, a question–answer format, with links to relevant clinical images and guidelines.

The Australian Aboriginal Child Health Modules project is being developed by The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)  with funding by the Rural Health Continuing Education (RHCE) program.

For more information on the project please visit

Communication with Indigenous Patients

Hunting for bush tucker 100km outside of Alice Springs

An educational DVD has recently been filmed in Alice Springs on Communication with Indigenous Patients.

The College of Intensive Care Medicine (CICM) was awarded a grant by the RHCE Program to produce the DVD to be distributed to hospitals around the country.        

The DVD  will also be made available through the CICM website and the Indigenous Health and Cultural Competency Portal, another RHCE funded project currently being developed by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).

A working group comprising of Dr Dianne Stephens (Darwin), Dr Penny Stewart (Alice Springs), Dr Charlie Corke (Victoria), Phil Hart (CICM) and Lisa Davidson (CICM) was formed to decide the educational objectives and important issues to be covered in the content.

Dr Penny Stewart, the Director of Intensive Care at Alice Springs Hospital kindly made the IC unit available and organised a group of willing volunteers who assisted with providing information, interviews and some quality acting skills.

It was thought the most effective approach would be to film interviews with specialists and patients in the hospital, together with footage from around Alice Springs.

The content has been divided into chapters covering:

• Appreciating different perspectives
• Understanding of reasons behind non-compliance,
• Decision making process
• End-of-life discussion
• Cultural safety
• Talking and listening

There were some unexpected and valuable experiences during the filming, including a trip to hunt for bush tucker 100km out of Alice with a group of local women. One of the whom had spent considerable time in the intensive care unit and was happy to share her experiences and to offer insight into some common issues faced by Indigenous patients in the hospital system.

Oubliette Films, the film company engaged for the project has considerable previous experience both in filming in ICUs and indigenous health. With hours of footage to work through, the editing process is well underway.

CICM would like to thank Penny, Di and Charlie for their hard work and contributions to this important project and the RHCE Program for funding the project.

e-Learning library @ the RANZCR

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) will make available Phase One of the e-Learning library as part of the launch of the RANZCR Learning Portal this August.

The focus of this e-Learning library is on the non-medical expert areas of communication, management and professionalism. These were key areas highlighted in the Training Needs Analysis conducted in 2011 as being important for RANZCR to develop resources for its members, both rural and non-rural.

The e-Learning library has been designed to be delivered in two phases.

At the August launch, Phase One will have the following e-Learning courses available to college members. 

Communications Essentials
• Internal Communication
• External Communication Parts 1 & 2
• Performance Feedback Parts 1 & 2

Management Essentials
• The Role of Manager Parts 1, 2 & 3
• Understanding Self as Manager
• Managing Others

Phase Two, to be delivered progressively between November 2012 and April 2013, will include:

• Characteristics of Leadership Parts 1 & 2

Management Essentials
• Change Management Parts 1 & 2
• Planning and Conducting Meetings Parts 1 & 2
• Conflict Resolution Parts 1 & 2
• Recruitment & Selection Parts 1 & 2
• Work, Health & Safety Act 2012

It is the first time the RANZCR has undertaken such a project, never having before had an LMS (Learning Management System) on which to house e-Learning courses.

In the interests of sharing knowledge, RANZCR will be providing a copy of the Phase One modules to member colleges of the Network of Medical College Educators (NMCE) in October 2012. The Phase Two modules will be provided to NMCE member colleges in April 2013. 

Acknowledgement needs to be given to those members of RANZCR and The Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) who have selflessly given of their time to review the content and suggest improvements.

Last but not least, RANZCR thanks the RHCE Program for funding for this project.

Further information contact Sharon Messina Director of Education & Research

ROME Project - Rural Outcome Measurement Enhancement

Measuring health outcomes and how this can potentially improve patient care is an important aspect of health care delivery.

The RACP is pleased to be leading the Rural Outcome Measurement Enhancement (ROME) Project with support from RACMA. The project offers a series of free videoconferences and a face to face workshop to rural specialists with an interest in health outcome measurement.

Following on from the success of 2011 workshop held in Alice Springs, the workshop in 2012 will again be held in conjunction with the Rural Medicine Australia Scientific Forum on Thursday 25 October 2012 in Fremantle, Western Australia.

The program for this workshop will focus on models and training in rural and remote settings, as well as giving examples of measuring health outcomes using models of care from rural settings. Speakers include Professor Richard Doherty, Dr Andrew Cole, Dr Sheila Cook, Dr Mike Williams, Dr Tom Bowles and Dr Ian Ring.

Videoconference: Sepsis Management
Date: Thursday 2 August, 3.30pm-5pm AEST
Presenters: Professor Tony Burrell, Ms Mary Fullick, Dr Josh Davis

Videoconference: Mental Health in Indigenous Populations and Farming Communities 
Date: Wednesday 15 August, 3.30pm-5pm AEST
Presenters: Professor Tony Burrell, Ms Mary Fullick, Dr Josh Davis

Face-to-face workshop: Models of Training and Models of Care
Date: Thursday 25 October 2012
Place: The Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia
For further information contact Neridah Callaghan
Registration details available at

A pre-workshop to the ACRRM Rural Medicine Australia Scientific Forum 2012

All ROME events are free for rural specialists. Places are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment

Available Now  Recordings of previous ROME videoconferences

Falls, Fractures and Outcomes for Older People (13 July 2011)
Speakers, Professor Ian Cameron and Dr Laura Ahmad.

Topics covered included:

  • Outcomes of falls for older people
  • The peri-operative management of fracture patients
  • Rehabilitation for older people after hip and other fractures (hospital and community)
  • Tertiary prevention of falls and fall-related injury

Indigenous Health Outcomes (3 May 2012)
Speakers, Dr Carole Reeve, Dr Jaye Martin and Ms Bilawara Lee.

Topics covered included:

  • How to measure health outcomes in an Indigenous population
  • ATSI Health Performance Framework
  • Using audit as a specific tool in improving Indigenous Health Outcomes
  • Improved understanding of cultural protocols for working in Aboriginal Communities

Recordings available at GTH Events

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Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges