Rural and Regional Australia to Gain from Workforce Expansion
Regional Australians will soon find it easier to get in to see a doctor, following the Australian Government announcement of $632 million to train an additional 6,000 GPs and specialists.
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17 March 2010
Regional Australians will soon find it easier to get in to see a doctor, following the Rudd Government announcement of $632 million to train an additional 6,000 GPs and specialists.
Minister for Rural and Regional Health, Warren Snowdon, said the Rudd Government will double the number of GP training places in rural communities to 600 by the year 2014.
“In addition, rural areas will be prioritized in the placing of the additional 575 junior doctors under this package, and with more than 50 per cent of the specialist training places in rural areas currently, we expect that trend to continue,” he said.
Starting from 2011, these major investments will significantly enhance primary care services and specialist training, and help reduce pressure on hospitals by improving access and availability of GP and specialist services.
“I have traveled the length and breadth of the country, from Derby to Ceduna and Cloncurry, and I know that more doctors, trained out bush and staying out bush, is just what the patient ordered.
“The Rudd Government is determined to tackle doctor shortages, and deliver better health care to the bush,” Mr Snowdon said.
This investment follows the Rudd Government’s $134.4 million Rural Health Workforce Strategy which means:
- From July 1, Doctors relocating from a capital city to rural and remote areas of Australia will be eligible for a relocation grant of between $15,000 and $120,000.
- For the first time, more than 2400 rural practitioners will become eligible for retention payments of between $12,000 to $47,000 per annum after five years
- Over 400 subsidised locum placements will be provided for doctors in rural and regional locations
- An additional 150 urban doctors will become available to provide locum relief to their rural counterparts.
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