About the initiative
The IMOC Program objectives are to:
- trial new multidisciplinary primary care models designed to reduce chronic workforce shortages and improve patient access in a range of locations (including remote towns)
- learn from trials that are under way and incorporate learnings into new trials
- evaluate trials to discover which models work, where they work and whether they are financially sustainable.
Communities are rural or remote if they are in categories 3–7 of the Modified Monash Model (MMM).
IMOC aims to attract and keep rural health professionals. It also encourages:
- health professionals working to their full scope of practice
- multidisciplinary team-based models of care
- different employment models for healthcare professionals
- sharing of healthcare resources between small, connected communities.
The program started in 2020–21 with funding to the New South Wales Rural Doctors Network. These funds were for the trial of 5 innovative care models in NSW (Round 1). In 2021–22, funding was awarded to GP Down South to trial a model of care in the Warren Blackwood region of Western Australia (Round 2). The table below describes each model.
We will open further IMOC grant rounds (rounds 3, 4 and 5) in 2023. These rounds will deliver the October 2022 Budget commitment of $35.3 million from 2022–23 to 2027–28. Funds will be provided to trial and evaluate a broader set of innovative models of primary care.
Round 3 will open on GrantConnect in early 2023. Round 4 will open in mid-2023, and Round 5 from late 2023.
The IMOC Program funds activities such as:
- community engagement
- program management activities.
NSW Rural Doctors Network
Carry out 5 proof-of-concept pilots
Learn more: Collaborative Care Projects.
|$3.3 million over 3 years from 2021||Canola Fields||GP-led multidisciplinary team-based care for chronic-disease patients|
4Ts – Tottenham, Tullamore, Trangie and Trundle
|Local health district single employer across sub-region|
|Lachlan – Parkes and Forbes||Co-design of a shared GP model of care across the region|
|Murrumbidgee area: Snowy Valleys – Tumut, Tumbarumba, Batlow and Adelong||Co-design of a shared GP model of care across the region|
|Far Western NSW: Wentworth – Wentworth, Dareton, Buronga and Gol Gol||Sustainable shared GP model of care across the region (ACCHO-led) to address market failure|
|2||GP Down South Limited||$1.8 million over 5 years from June 2022||Warren Blackwood region of Western Australia||Clinical Care Coordination (CCC) team. Provides support for GPs and improves patient access to integrated health care. Learn more: GP down south.|
Why it is important
High-quality health care is essential for all Australians – regardless of location. Rural and remote Australians experience poorer health outcomes than people in cities.
New approaches, such as collaboration between local providers and communities, may improve this.
Sustainable solutions can come from:
- primary health care professionals working together to deliver services to several smaller, connected communities
- making best use of all healthcare providers in a region.
Primary care disciplines may include:
- nurses and nurse practitioners
- allied health practitioners.
The IMOC Program will benefit healthcare professionals and consumers. It also helps communities create sustainable healthcare for their unique needs.
The goal is to find out whether the models:
- make rural practice more attractive to health professionals
- lead to better health services and patient outcomes.
The outcomes may lead to ongoing primary care changes, as trials are intended to be financially-sustainable into the future and also potentially applicable to other communities.
Who we work with
The Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner may provide advice on funding opportunities.
Apply for funding
Register to receive grant opportunity information and updates on GrantConnect.
The Australian Government will deliver three IMOC grant opportunities from early 2023. These are for trialling a broader set of innovative multidisciplinary models of primary care.