Interns are typically based at hospitals for the majority of their rotations. Exposing interns to rural General Practice, Aboriginal Medical Services or other primary care rotations will make it more likely they will practice in these locations after becoming more qualified.
The RJDTIF is part of the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) for Medicine measure announced by the Australian Government on 15 December 2015. The RJDTIF aims to work with regional training hubs to improve rural medical training and increase positive rural training experiences.
Up to $13.6 million was awarded under the first round of the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund (RJDTIF).
Up to $18.6 million is available under the second round of the RJDTIF.
First Round Activities
Under the first round of the RJDTIF, rural primary care intern rotations will be undertaken in the following locations:
- NSW: Bega (through ACT Health), Coolamon, Cowra, Finley, Glenfield Park, Port Macquarie, Temora;
- VIC: Heyfield, Maffra, Lakes Entrance;
- TAS: Currie, Flinders Island, Huonville, St Helens, Queenstown;
- WA: Albany;
- NT: Nhulunbuy, Tennant Creek; and
- QLD: Emerald, Theodore, Toowoomba.
Most locations will have rotations across the three calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Applications under the second round closed at 2.00pm (AEDT) Thursday, 14 December 2017.
Applications are being assessed. There is the opportunity for additional rural primary care intern rotations in 2018, but the majority of rotations are expected in 2019 and 2020.
The Integrated Rural Training Pipeline
The Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) for Medicine measure will help to retain medical graduates in rural areas by better coordinating the different stages of training within regions and funding new places to help meet student demand. Through this approach, more health practitioners will be able to complete the different stages of their medical training, from student to specialist, in rural areas. The Government will implement three components to support the rural pipeline:
- Building on the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program, 26 Regional Training Hubs announced by the Government on 13 April 2017 are being established across rural Australia. These Regional Training Hubs will be based at existing Rural Clinical School and University Departments of Rural Health and will consist of a team of people that are dedicated to integrating medical training opportunities for students within their catchment area. The hub team, made up of both academic and administrative staff will support the coordination of rural training opportunities for doctors at all stages of their medical training, building regional training capacity through providing support for local medical practitioners to become supervisors and assist health services to accredit new training posts.
- A targeted expansion to the highly successful Specialist Training Program will provide up to 100 new training places in rural areas – 50 in 2017 and another 50 in 2018, at a cost of over $16 million per year by 2018-19. This will enable the Specialist Training Program to provide 1,000 ongoing places by 2018.
- The RJDTIF was also announced as part of the IRTP and will work in conjunction with the above measures, particularly the regional training hubs.