Rural Health Workforce Support Activity

The Rural Health Workforce Support Activity (RHWSA) program aims to meet current and future regional, rural and remote community health workforce needs through workforce planning.

About the activity

The RHWSA program supports Rural Workforce Agencies (RWAs) to bring general practitioners and health professionals to rural and remote areas of Australia.

Why it is important

There are fewer health professionals in rural and remote Australia compared with the rest of the country. This affects the health and wellbeing of those living in those areas.


The activity aims to:

  • improve access to essential primary health care for those living in rural and remote areas
  • build the capability of local health workforce to ensure communities can access the right health professional at the right time
  • grow the sustainability of the rural health workforce, strengthening the long-term access to qualified health professionals.

Meeting our goals

The RWAs provide a range of activities and support to improve the recruitment and retention of general practitioners (GPs) and health professionals to rural and remote areas, including:

  • helping communities recruit health professionals
  • finding appropriate placements for health professionals who want to relocate to rural areas
  • assisting with the costs of relocation
  • supporting health professionals and their families to fit into a new community
  • helping health professionals access the necessary infrastructure, support and training.

The RWAs also act as the point of contact for GPs and other health professionals interested in practising in rural and remote areas.

Who we work with

The RHWSA is specifically targeted at the RWAs in each state and the Northern Territory:

Find out more about the RWAs.


We recently engaged KPMG to review the RHWSA.

The review assessed the effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness and engagement of the RHWSA. Findings of the review will inform decisions about the future design, funding and implementation of the program.


Rural workforce distribution contact

Contact us with questions about rural workforce distribution.
Date last updated:

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