The state of Victoria in Australia has received AU$330,000 to begin training medical students online.
Warren Snowdon, the Minister for Rural and Regional Health, said that the initiative is meant to help the southeastern Australian state overcome a serious shortage of mental health workers in its more rural areas. Victoria is a particularly rural state, with more than 70 percent of the population living in the capital city of Melbourne.
The government will be providing the state with AU$336,120 to install high-tech video conferencing cameras inside classrooms in medical facilities at Deakin University, located in the city of Geelong, Victoria.
Darren Cheeseman, a member of the Ministry for Rural and Regional Health, said that the video conferencing will "enable medical students to receive teaching in rural and regional areas."
The project "will provide high quality clinical experiences" which will encourage the students to remain and work in rural areas after graduation, Cheeseman added.
The funding is provided under the Australian Government's AU$90 million Clinical Teaching and Training Grants program.
The field of medicine is benefiting from advanced video conferencing technology across the world. Stateside, the University of Pennsylvania's health branch recently opened a large outpatient facility called Penn Medicine at Valley Forge in Tredyffrin Township, Pennsylvania, that is equipped with video conferencing equipment so that students can participate in programs downtown.