Five nursing and allied health students are at Hedland Health Campus after BHP stepped in to help with accommodation.

The rent-free housing solution covers the students’ nine-week placement.

The WA Centre for Rural Health asked BHP for help after being unable to find accommodation.

The centre is dealing with a backlog of students requiring placements because of COVID-19 disruptions to the system.

WACRH assistant director Rohan Rasiah said he was very thankful BHP was able to place the students in quality housing, allowing his organisation to continue to support the delivery of excellent health services in rural and regional WA.

Mr Rasiah said the large geographical distances in regional WA remained a major challenge to the attraction and retention of health care professionals in rural and regional towns.

“Providing students with the opportunity to work and experience life in a regional health setting during their training encourages them to return once qualified,” Mr Rasiah said.

“Mental health and Aboriginal health are also an important focus of WACRH, and it is critical that we attract nurses, allied health professionals and doctors to regional communities so that the access to quality healthcare is universal.

“This in-kind support from BHP helps us support our students and live our mission to attract and retain quality health professionals in the regions.”