OXLEY High School alumni Josh Mortimer has had a passion for improving rural health since working for a Tamworth general practice when he finished Year 12, and today he is set to discuss the future of medical delivery with a number of key figures in Canberra.
Mr Mortimer is in the final year of his medicine degree and is the vice-chairman of the National Rural Health Students Network (NRHSN) council.
The NRHSN, which represents 9000 students who belong to 28 university rural health clubs, including NERCHA at the University of New England, is celebrating its 21st year with a function at Parliament House, where they will be addressed and have a panel session with the Minister for Rural health Fiona Nash, shadow assistant health minister Stephen Jones and Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale.
He described the event as “a sounding board for the environment we want to train and work in, and a platform to develop innovative models of health care”.
Mr Mortimer said the NRHSN had a number of priorities it was advocating for, which included all university health students undertaking mental health courses to better care for themselves and future patients.
Increasing Indigenous take up of health careers was another priority, according to Mr Mortimer, to ensure there was culturally appropriate and available services for Indigenous patients.
Mr Mortimer is studying at the University of NSW Rural Clinical School in Coffs Harbour.
He said he was looking to undertake an internship next year in Coffs Harbour, but hasn’t ruled out a move back to his home town of Tamworth at some point in the future.