Date published: 
13 December 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Training more doctors to live and work in rural areas has received a further important boost with the Australian Government’s latest release of funding in Round Three of its Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund.

A key element of the Government’s $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy and a component of the Junior Doctor Training Program, the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund allows more doctors to complete different stages of their medical training, from student to specialist, within rural areas. 

Round Three of the programme will deliver 84 training doctors into 22 rural communities across the country. This third funding round also expands the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund to include second year postgraduate doctors for the first time.

Deputy Prime Minister and Riverina MP, Michael McCormack, welcomed the Coalition Government’s delivery in rural health and highlighted the practical benefits for the Cootamundra and Gundagai communities.

“This latest funding will mean more doctors training in the regions, hopefully whetting their appetite for living and working here once they’re qualified.

“Today’s announcement means a great deal for the Riverina and for 22 regional communities across the country, with 84 extra training doctors in these communities for their rural rotation.

“I’m excited to see these extra rotations deliver more doctors to our regions, improving access to medical services for locals and strengthening our local communities.” Minister McCormack said.

Minister Coulton said RJDTIF will support up to 210 rotations for rurally based medical interns and up to 100 rotations for second year postgraduate doctors across Australia.  

“The Australian Government is committed to bridging the city/country divide by encouraging more doctors to practise in rural and remote communities so that patients get access to the services they need,” Minister Coulton said. 

“Through the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund, rurally based junior doctors will have training opportunities in primary care settings, including rural general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services or other rural primary care rotations, to encourage their interest in working in rural general practice after becoming more qualified.

“Evidence shows students who train rurally are far more likely to end up working and living rurally once they’ve graduated, which is why we are so committed to getting our training doctors into rural settings across the country.

“Expanding the rural medical training pipeline is particularly important to supporting the National Rural Generalist Pathway with the third round of funding including second year postgraduate doctors for the first time.

“Providing support for junior doctors and more rural training opportunities is fundamental to supporting the roll out of the National Rural Generalist Pathway.”  

“Nine applicant organisations were successful through this third funding round. The expansion will deliver up to 100 new accredited rural primary care rotations available for rurally-based second year postgraduate doctors across Australia, at a total cost of $3.2 million. A total of $20.6 million was made available through the first two funding rounds. 

“The Rural Junior Doctor Innovation Fund provides rurally based junior doctors with a rotation in a rural primary care setting, building on the rural training networks funded by the states and territories.

“The Fund will assist to retain medical graduates and junior doctors in rural medical practice, it will increase rural medical training capacity, and it will help develop a rural pathway for medical training through enhanced rural training networks.” Minister Coulton said.

Round 3 of the RJDTIF delivers extra rural primary care rotations in the following locations:

  • New South Wales: Cootamundra, Griffith, Gundagai, Narrandera
  • Victoria: Lakes Entrance, Trafalgar
  • Queensland: Bargara, Coen, Emerald, Lockhart River, Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Theodore
  • Western Australia: Albany
  • South Australia: Kingston, Naracoorte, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln
  • Northern Territory: Tennant Creek
  • Tasmania: Devonport, Huonville, St Helens