Stronger Rural Health – Training – improved access to Australian trained general practitioners and quality care

Page last updated: 08 May 2018

Stronger Rural Health – Training – improved access to Australian trained general practitioners and quality care (PDF 119 KB)

The Government will provide incentives for doctors to qualify as vocationally recognised (VR) or specialist GPs and to practise outside major cities. This will be achieved through the More Doctors for Rural Australia Program and incentives for increased qualifications.

Why is this important?

This strategy will ensure that all Australians, no matter where they live, have access to Australian trained GPs and the best quality of care available.

The More Doctors for Rural Australia Program will encourage non-VR doctors to become Fellows and to work outside major cities. For the first time, Australian trained non-VR doctors will be able to receive a Medicare provider number to directly bill Medicare in Modified Monash 2–7 to encourage them to practise in private practices in rural and remote areas

New non-VR doctors in rural areas will be able to bill 80 per cent of the amount that their specialist qualified counterparts and trainees are entitled to. To encourage higher qualifications, new non-VR doctors will be able to bill at 100 per cent when they are on a pathway to Fellowship.

The existing non-VR workforce will have a five year grandfathering period over which time current arrangements will remain in place. New supported training pathways provided through specialist GP colleges will provide a pathway to support this workforce and any new non-VR practitioners to achieve specialist or VR status in general practice.

Who will benefit?

Encouraging and supporting non-VR doctors to attain higher VR qualifications will provide a higher quality of care for patients in areas of greatest need, particularly rural areas.

How much will this cost?

The Stronger Rural Health Strategy is a $550 million investment to support improved rural health services.

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