More Doctors for Outer Metropolitan Areas – Continue funding

Continued funding of $64.5 million to increase the number of doctors working in outer metropolitan areas experiencing shortages is a feature of this year’s Federal Budget.

Page last updated: 09 May 2006

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Why is this important?

  • The outer metropolitan areas of Australia's capital cities have undergone considerable growth over recent years, putting increasing pressure on services provided by medical practitioners. The majority of outer metropolitan areas are currently considered to be districts of workforce shortage.
  • The measure will over the next four years attract up to 250 general practitioners and specialists to meet ongoing needs in outer metropolitan areas. It will also augment workplace capacity in these areas through up to 250 General Practice registrar placements each year, and the establishment of up to 50 specialist training positions in private settings through which specialist trainees could rotate.

Who will benefit?

  • This initiative will benefit people in outer metropolitan areas by attracting more doctors to areas experiencing shortages.
  • From 1 July, the maximum size of the Relocation Incentive Grant will be increased from $20,000 to $30,000 for doctors relocating to established practices, and from $30,000 to $40,000 for doctors establishing new practices. This will provide stronger encouragement for doctors in inner metropolitan areas to relocate and will help existing medical practices recruit the doctors they need.
  • There will be an increase in the funding available to assist specialist trainees undertake placements in private settings in outer metropolitan areas. This will see an expansion in the number of training placements available, including assistance for participating trainees and private practices/private hospitals providing the training placements.

What funding is the Government committing to this initiative?

  • The Government has committed funding of $64.5 million over the next four years to continue the successful More Doctors for Outer Metropolitan Areas measure.

What have we done in the past?

  • As a result of the financial incentives under the More Doctors for Outer Metropolitan Areas measure announced in the 2002-2003 Budget, more than 200 doctors have agreed to relocate to, or significantly increase their hours in, outer metropolitan areas. In addition, more than 350 General Practice Registrars have undertaken six-month placements in outer metropolitan areas.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This initiative will be reviewed in the 2010-2011 Budget.

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