Three New England hospitals will be among the first in NSW to benefit from a state government program to establish modern, stylish and sustainable accommodation units for rural and regional healthcare workers.
The region has been chosen to trial the units, that, if well received, would later be installed at other hospitals across rural and regional NSW.
Three modular units, costing almost $1 million, will be installed adjacent to the new Inverell District Hospital, while Armidale and Glen Innes Hospitals will each receive four.
"It is critical that we pave the way for the best and brightest doctors and health care workers to come to our hospital and that means providing affordable housing for our staff," Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall said.
"Each year our local health districts divert funds to offsite accommodation that's safe and comfortable for visiting specialists and medical staff while they're providing essential health services to our communities."
He said the buildings will be equipped with a kitchenette, living area and ensuite.
"Their location on site has been chosen due to its proximity to the health facility, as well as for privacy and comfort."
Mr Marshall said addressing the rural medical staff shortage requires a holistic approach, which considers both changes to remuneration and improving the experience for those staff who do choose to come to the regions.
"Having these units onsite will mean staff can remain on call and available around the clock," he said.
"I'm pleased our region has been chosen to pilot and lead this accommodation program, which if done right has the potential to increase community access to specialist medical staff."
Mr Marshall added the accommodation units had been designed to minimise environmental impact.
"Our new accommodation units are based on sustainable design principles that maximise year-round comfort and reduce running costs," he said.
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