FRASER Coast health professionals looking to hone their skills in aged care now have the opportunity to upgrade their qualifications locally with the introduction of a new graduate certificate at University of Southern Queensland.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said enrolment applications were now open for the Graduate Certificate in Health (Aged Care), which will be launched at USQ Fraser Coast tomorrow evening, Tuesday December 16.
“Demand for aged care is expected to grow significantly in years to come therefore anyone pursuing further education in that area will place themselves in an ideal position to secure ongoing and/or improved employment,” Professor Thomas said.
Leading not-for-profit organisation OzCare recently announced its plan to build a $30 million aged-care facility with a 150-bed capacity in Hervey Bay next year.
Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has also announced an additional 126 residential care packages and 57 home care packages across Hervey Bay, Bargara and Bundaberg.
Mr Pitt said more than 17,800 people would benefit from new places and packages nationally.
“These extra residential and home care places will help meet the growing demand for aged care,” Mr Pitt said.
In October, Mr Pitt told Parliament that between 2013-14 and 2016-17, $1.1 billion would flow to aged-care providers.
“This includes a 2.4 per cent increase on top of normal indexation of care funding for eligible aged-care programs from July this year.
“Aged-care providers in regional, rural and remote areas will receive a $54 million boost in funding through a 20 per cent increase to the viability supplement.
“This funding boost will help improve the capacity of over 950 services in these areas to provide quality aged care.”
Mr Pitt said only 5% of Australians over the age of 65 lived in residential aged care.
“We know that most people want to remain living in their own home for as long as possible, which is why we are increasing the number of home-care packages. There will be an additional 80,000 over the next 10 years.”
Graduate Certificate in Health (Aged Care)
Professor Thomas said USQ’s new Graduate Certificate in Health (Aged Care) was open to registered health professionals who had a passion for working with older people in a variety of settings.
“This certificate is designed to help post-graduate students develop knowledge and expertise in healthy ageing,” she said.
“Strengthening the professional development of health professionals working in related areas of their chosen specialisation, the Graduate Certificate of Health enables graduates to become experts in their field.
“After completing the Graduate Certificate of Health, students have the option to take the credit from their studies and go on to complete the Graduate Diploma of Health or the Master of Health.”
For certificate details and information on how to apply, visit www.usq.edu.au.
Photo: USQ head of nursing and midwifery Professor Cath Rogers, executive Dean of health, engineering and sciences Lyn Karstadt, USQ Fraser Coast executive manager Brett Langabeer and senior nursing lecturer Julie Martyn.