About University Departments of Rural Health

University Departments of Rural Health, also known as UDRHs, are academic centres based in rural and remote Australia focused on health education and research.

UDRH priorities include:

  • Facilitating training placements for nursing, midwifery and allied health students in rural and remote health care, aged care, disability services and other community services.
  • Providing training and accommodation facilities, as well as social support, for students undertaking a rural or remote training placement.
  • In partnership with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, facilitating cultural awareness and safety training for all students on placement and providing mentoring support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health students.
  • Undertaking rural and remote health research in close partnership with local communities, health professionals and services.
  • Delivering professional development opportunities for rural and remote health professionals.
  • Supporting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait health academics and researchers.
  • Delivering end-to-end training in rural and remote locations for some undergraduate and postgraduate health courses.

UDRHs are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care through the Rural Health Multi-disciplinary Training Program.

An independent evaluation in 2020 found that UDRHs are having a positive impact in growing and supporting the rural health workforce, building the evidence base on rural and remote health, driving innovative teaching partnerships with local health and community services, and creating economic and social value in the regions.