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UK First for New Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare


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02 Nov 2018

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has launched the first faculty committed to the provision of high quality healthcare for remote and rural areas of the world.   

Recognising the global need for an institutional body, The Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare has been established to ensure that everyone has access to high standards of healthcare regardless of location.

The Faculty will develop and promote new standards for remote and rural healthcare practitioners to ensure the highest level of practitioner excellence. In collaboration with its partners, including organisations within industry and academia, its aim is to support the delivery of equitable, economically-viable access to integrated healthcare – and thereby improve significantly the health and medical outcomes of people living and working in remote and rural areas of the world.

Professor John Duncan OBE, Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and a driving force of the Faculty’s creation from its earliest conception, said:

Building on its existing reputation for quality in education and training across surgery, dentistry and pre-hospital care, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is enthusiastic to support this significant development. It is important that a common set of standards enables care to be delivered safely and effectively by the range of healthcare professionals involved. Along with our existing Faculties, the new Faculty will develop a common set of standards and provide assessment and accreditation for the many clinicians providing care in remote and rural environments.”

Many people around the world live in isolated communities and work in industries such as oil and gas, mining and shipping where isolation is a direct challenge to their health and wellbeing. Developing technologies for extending the reach of medicine and care to remote and rural areas are often under-exploited and poorly deployed, given the geographic circumstances. Compared to their urban counterparts, remote and rural inhabitants often experience lower life expectancy and poorer health status.

The Faculty will work to:

  • Build a diverse national and international network of remote and rural healthcare practitioners and contributors from multiple backgrounds, with broadened skills, in a wide range of medical and non-medical fields
  • Create and develop standards and competency frameworks that recognise and support the development of a new category of healthcare professional with broader discipline capacity, enhanced technological awareness and the ambition to achieve sustainable continuous improvement in this field
  • Promote and enhance the use of new and emerging technologies to support an integrated and accessible approach to remote and rural healthcare
  • Support the advancement of research and innovation in areas relevant to remote and rural healthcare
  • Provide a global home that encourages best practice sharing and collaboration for a group of geographically-distributed health practitioners

There is a unique opportunity for both individuals and organisations to affiliate with and contribute to the development of this new Faculty – and become part of a diverse, global multi-disciplinary community. As the Faculty develops, benefits to individuals will include access to a curriculum and assessment framework that caters for the specific needs of those working within remote and rural settings. Member organisations will benefit by showing a demonstrable commitment to remote and rural healthcare and will gain access to independent validation and accreditation as well as valuable opportunities for networking and collaboration.

For further information or to register your interest in joining the Faculty, either as an individual or as an organisation, please contact frrh@rcsed.ac.uk.


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