A new $2 million incentive fund to attract doctors to Launceston and across northern Tasmanian communities is being created to help address longstanding GP shortages in northern and north-western Tasmania.
The Coalition Government will establish the General Practice Incentive Fund Tasmania (GPIFT) to attract and retain doctors in Tasmania’s north and north-west by providing a suite of incentives for doctors who relocate to the region.
Improving access to primary care services and addressing workforce issues in rural communities, such as Lilydale in the state’s north east, is a priority for the Australian Government.
Data from the last decade shows GP numbers in Australia have increased at triple the rate of the population. The bulk of this growth has unfortunately been in capital cities.
Addressing the maldistribution of GPs and health professionals in Australia is complex and requires a mix of short, medium and long-term solutions.
There are many rewarding lifestyle and career opportunities across northern Tasmania and a dedicated fund will support current and future doctors with accommodation, training and workforce support.
Building on the investment in the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the new fund will include support for the local health sector to develop a collaborative primary care model to better integrate services and create a more sustainable workforce for the region, including building IT capability to support telehealth and other technologies to improve patient access.
A strong rural health workforce is central to improving the health of people living in rural, regional and remote Australia.
The Coalition Government understands that no two rural communities are the same, which is why we are supporting local communities to develop their own flexible, innovative and integrated primary care models.
The incentive fund will enable our local health professionals in Launceston and across northern Tasmania to look at new approaches to workforce and training models to meet the needs of our rural communities.
Finding local health care solutions will help address the distribution of doctors across Australia and deliver improved access to services for rural communities.
The GPIFT will be managed by the Tasmania Primary Health Network in collaboration with the local Rural Workforce Agency.