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1 December 2014
The Australian Government has appointed an independent expert panel to consult on how the General Practice Rural Incentives Programme (GPRIP) can best encourage doctors to towns in rural, regional and remote areas where they are needed most.
“We must ensure that workforce programmes are targeted to getting the right doctors, with the right skills, to the right places,” the Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash, said.
The appointment of the panel is the next phase in the Government’s implementation of a series of significant rural health workforce reforms.
“The panel will consult with rural doctors and key health organisations on how GPRIP could be redesigned using the new Modified Monash Model classification system, which will help get more doctors to the areas of need,” Minister Nash said.
“I am confident the new classification system will be a major step forward in improving equity and access to health services for rural, regional and remote Australian communities.”
Minister Nash said the training pipeline was also essential to increasing rural general practice. Accordingly, she had asked the panel to consult on the value of junior doctors having exposure to rural practice.
The members of the expert panel are:
- Dr Steve Hambleton—immediate past President of the Australian Medical Association
- Dr Paul Mara—former President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia
- Professor John Humphreys—Emeritus Professor of Rural Health Research at Monash University, who led the design of an improved classification system for rural areas, which is the basis of the Government’s preferred new Modified Monash Model.
The panel will report back to the Minister by mid-January 2015.
Media contact: Greg Doolan, 0433 345 323