Hundreds of junior Queensland doctors will have the chance to undertake training in regional and rural areas in a boost to the local health workforce thanks to the an Albanese Government program aimed at attracting doctors to careers in rural healthcare.
More than $17 million in funding has been provided to Queensland Health through the Albanese Government’s John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program.
340 junior doctors across Queensland will have the opportunity to broaden their experience and skill base as part of a national program designed to boost doctor numbers in regional and rural areas.
The funding will allow junior doctors employed by Queensland Hospital and Health Services (HHS) to undertake a rotation at a rural private general practice or approved primary care facility over the next two years.
This includes Wide Bay, Townsville, Mackay, Darling Downs, Central Queensland, and Cairns and Hinterland, as well as Bamaga, Thursday Island, Cooktown Hospital and primary care services in Far North Queensland.
A list of participating general practices and primary care facilities can be found below.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler:
“Ensuring that people who live in rural and regional areas can get the health care they need closer to home is a priority for the Australian Government.
“We know that doctors who train in rural and remote regions are more likely to stay in the regions.
“Our John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program provides a unique opportunity for doctors to live and work in rural and remote communities, build relationships with patients, and increase their skillset.
“And it provides patients in these areas with a more stable, locally trained workforce they can count on.”
Quotes attributable to Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Shannon Fentiman:
“The Palaszczuk Government continues to invest heavily in boosting our state’s health workforce, particularly in regional areas, and our involvement in the John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program could also play an important role.
“We want to enhance the appeal of rural training for the next generation of GPs and rural generalists and encourage them to consider a career outside the metropolitan setting.
“By taking part in the program, these 340 junior doctors will have the chance to work alongside experienced rural doctors where they will be exposed to the broad nature of medicine practiced in rural communities.
“Our hope is they will see how wonderful and fulling it is to live and work in regional and rural communities and choose to stay.
“If these junior doctors take up careers in rural medicine, the communities will benefit from an increased level of health service and a more stable, locally trained workforce.
"We know that further you live outside a major city the worse your health outcomes are likely to be. A large part of that is workforce and not being able to access care when and where you need it.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health Emma McBride:
“Growing medical training across rural and regional Australia will improve access to medical care for people living outside of major cities.
“We know that maximising rural training opportunities leads to students far more likely to choose to practise in rural and regional communities.
“John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program does more than just provide improved health care. It improves the educational, economic and social outcomes of our rural and regional communities.”
Participating General Practices and primary care facilities:
- Emerald Medical Centre
- Theodore Medical Centre
- Goondiwindi Medical Centre
- Ochre Medical – Oakey
- Ochre Medical – Wyalla
- Millmerran MPHS
- Awal Medical Centre (Sarina)
- Affinity Family Medical (Cannonvale)
- South Side Medical Centre (Mackay)
- Ashfield Country Practice (Windermere)
- Grace Family Practice and Skin Care (Bargara)
- Monto Hospital
- Mundubbera MPHS
- Babinda MPHC
- Mossman MPHS
- Gurriny Yealamucka Health Services Aboriginal Corporation (Yarrabah)
- Ayr Health Service
- Gold City Medical Centre (Charters Towers)
- The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland) will also continue to receive junior doctors from Cairns and Hinterland HHS that were previously received under a separate Commonwealth Government program.
Note: This list will be expanded as the program is rolled out.