Workforce Incentive Program – Rural Advanced Skills Stream

The Rural Advanced Skills Stream rewards investment in specialist qualifications and advanced skills and encourages more doctors to work in a variety of settings using these skills in regional, rural and remote areas.

Applications for the WIP Rural Advanced Skills incentive are now open

Doctors are now able to apply for WIP Rural Advanced Skills incentive payments by following the instructions under the ‘How to apply’ section below. Applications can recognise any eligible service delivered since 1 January 2023.

Doctors will need to submit separate applications for Stream 1: Emergency Medicine and Stream 2: Advanced Skills payments. For further information on how to apply, please see the FAQ section on the website. You can also contact your local Rural Workforce Agency.

WIP Rural Advanced Skills is a new Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) payment for GPs and Rural Generalists with advanced skills working in regional, rural and remote communities. Payments will commence from 1 January 2024, recognising services delivered during 2023, 2024 and 2025. See the fact sheet for further details.

How it works

The WIP Rural Advanced Skills payment aims to support access to health care in rural and remote communities (Modified Monash MM 3-7 locations). This is through providing additional annual incentive payments to doctors working in primary care and using advanced skills working across a range of other settings.

The new incentive rewards investment in specialist qualifications and credentialled skills. It encourages more doctors with these advanced skills to work in regional, rural and remote areas.

Webinar

We have hosted an information webinar about the program on 3 April 2024, visit the webinar page to learn more and view the webinar.

Workforce Incentive Program – Rural Advanced Skills

This webinar provided information to doctors about the new Workforce Incentive Program – Rural Advanced Skills payment which launched in January 2024. It discussed more information on the program, eligibility and how to apply.

Eligible doctors

To be eligible for WIP Rural Advanced Skills payment, doctors must:

  • provide comprehensive MBS primary care/general practice in MM3-7 locations
  • meet minimum service thresholds (as outlined below in Section 1.3) of the Program Guidelines
  • provide evidence (e.g signed supporting documentation) to substantiate their application (proof of qualifications or advanced skills and employer verification of services delivered).

See the WIP Rural Advanced Skills Guidelines for full details of eligibility requirements.

How many doctors are expected to claim this payment?

Available data shows that more than 2,500 doctors may be eligible to claim the payment within each stream. This is based on the number of doctors with rural generalist skills and consultation with the sector during program design work.

Incentive payments

The WIP Rural Advanced Skills payment recognises that doctors working in regional, rural and remote areas are often required to use additional advanced skills (procedural and non-procedural) to meet the health care needs of their communities.

The new payments consist of 2 separate payment streams:

  • Stream 1: Emergency Medicine – from $4,000 up to $10,500 per annum for doctors providing a minimum level of emergency care and emergency after hours services (in eligible locations).
  • Stream 2: Advanced Skills – from $4,000 up to $10,500 per annum for doctors who hold recognised qualifications in advanced skills (such as obstetrics, anaesthetics, surgery, mental health and/or First Nations Health) and provide a minimum level of service using these skills.

The WIP Rural Advanced Skills payments are:

  • scaled to encourage service delivery in more remote areas
  • based on the number of advanced skills rosters worked in eligible locations, with a roster defined as four hours or longer in a 24-hour period.

Eligible medical practitioners and Rural Generalists can claim either or both payment streams where they meet eligibility requirements and reach service thresholds.

Eligibility requirements

Stream 1: Emergency Medicine

  • Doctors must deliver emergency medicine services in a hospital, Medicare Urgent Care Clinic or multipurpose service. Emergency rosters may include on-call services where doctors are available to attend in person as needed.
  • Emergency after hour services (including on-call services) in rural and remote communities without hospital or urgent care services are also eligible locations. These include towns where there are no hospitals, urgent care clinics or multipurpose services within a 50 km radius.

Stream 2: Advanced Skills

  • Advanced skills may be delivered in a:
    • hospital
    • Medicare Urgent Care Clinic
    • multipurpose service
    • general practice.
  • Doctors claiming this stream must have one of the following advanced skills:
    • adult internal medicine
    • anaesthesia
    • First Nations Health
    • mental health
    • obstetrics and gynaecology
    • paediatrics and child health
    • palliative care
    • remote medicine
    • surgery.

Application process

Doctors will need to submit separate applications for Stream1: Emergency Medicine and Stream 2: Advanced Skills payments. Links to the online application for each incentive stream are provided below:

  • To apply for Stream 1: Emergency Medicine please click here.
  • To apply for Stream 2: Advanced Skills please click here.

If you require any assistance completing the application form, please contact the Rural Workforce Agency in the state and territory in which you are providing most services.

Contacts for each state can be found on the contacts page.

Workforce Incentive Program – Rural Advanced Skills Stream contact

Contact us for questions on eligibility and program rules. Contact the Rural Workforce Agency for questions around the preparation of applications and calculation of individual payments.
Health and Aged Care

Rural Workforce Agency
Contacts for each state can be found on the contacts page

Date last updated:

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