CRITICAL financial support has been given to the National Centre for Farmer Health to enable the continuation of its renowned farmer reach-out program for another year.
The federal government has provided $375,000 together with the State government $250,000 to help continue agriculture healthcare programs such as its flagship service Sustainable Farm Families.
While the one-off grants fall short of the $1 million annual funding the centre had applied for, NCFH director Susan Brumby said it was a secure platform to continue the agriculture healthcare services.
"This is recognition that farmer health, wellbeing and safety is important in the productivity and resilience and this funding is a clear and unequivocal statement that both sides and all levels of government and the community thinks this important for the agriculture industry," Ms Brumby said.
Assistant Minister for Health Fiona Nash and Member for Wannon Dan Tehan today announced the one-off funding for the NCFH to enable the continuation of healthcare programs for another year.
The reduced funding will result in a lower number of Sustainable Farm Family programs being offered however will continue health, lifestyle and safety assessments, research partnerships and the education and training of rural practitioners.
“We had to shed three staff last month so this funding announcement makes us a leaner organisation,” Ms Brumby said.
“We are already making plans to meet with Dan Tehan to start a strategy forward in terms of securing ongoing funding and working on bringing other funds through research and the private sector.
“Another year (of funding) gives us security going forward to be able to apply for other research grants and be a platform to build on.”
The centre is a partnership between Western District Health Service and Deakin University.
“We are pleased that funding has been provided to ensure the continuation of the excellent work to improve the health, well-being and safety of those who work and live on farms which thereby increases the productivity and sustainability of their business,” Western District Health Service CEO Jim Fletcher said.
The NCFH was initially funded by the State government in 2008 and focused on assisting agricultural men and women with health, well-being and safety.