How we support the rural health workforce
We develop policies and run programs to support the rural health workforce.
Policy and strategy
Our Stronger Rural Health Strategy is a package of initiatives building a sustainable, high-quality health workforce that meets the needs of all communities.
We also fund programs, often delivered by third parties, to encourage health professionals to work in rural and remote areas.
We also do work specific to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.
Programs and initiatives
We fund a broad range of programs that:
- encourage health professionals to work in rural areas
- improve access to health care and aged care for those living in regional Australia.
See the list of our rural health workforce programs.
Committees and groups
Distribution Working Group
The Distribution Working Group provides advice to us on using geographic distribution systems for health workforce planning.
Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable
The Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable brings together key stakeholders to discuss rural health and develop health policies.
Who we work with
National Rural Health Commissioner
The Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner provides policy advice to the Minister for Regional Health.
Rural Workforce Agencies
A network of 7 Rural Workforce Agencies deliver programs in each state and the Northern Territory. They target communities that are experiencing difficulties attracting and retaining health professionals into regional, rural and remote areas.
These agencies work with local practices, communities and other organisations to ensure that rural Australia is served by a skilled, well-supported health workforce.
We help fund a network of rural clinical schools and departments of rural health run by universities through the:
Our Australian General Practice Training program funds the training of 1,500 doctors each year through:
- The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.
Through the Specialist Training Program, we work with a number of specialist colleges.
Primary Health Networks
Primary Health Networks are independent organisations that we fund to coordinate primary health care in their region.
Remote Area Health Corps
We fund the Remote Area Health Corps in the Northern Territory. The program offers short-term placements in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders communities.
Private and non-government organisations
Through our funded programs, we work with private and non-government organisations to support the delivery of health workforce programs.