Payments will commence from 1 January 2024, recognising services delivered during 2023, 2024 and 2025.
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 the Rural Advanced Skills Stream 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) by 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 and encourages more doctors with these advanced skills to work in regional, rural and remote areas.
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; and
- 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 2500 doctors may be eligible to claim the payment within each stream, based on the number of doctors with rural generalist skills and consultation with the sector during program design work.
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 two 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 are able to claim either or both payment streams where they meet eligibility requirements and reach service thresholds.
Stream 1: Emergency Medicine
- Doctors must deliver emergency medicine services in a hospital, urgent care centre 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 Eligible locations are towns where there are no hospital, urgent care or multipurpose services within a 50km radius
Stream 2: Advanced Skills
- Advanced skills may be delivered in a hospital, urgent care centres, multipurpose services and/or general practice;
- Doctors claiming this stream must have one of the following advanced skills.
- Adult internal medicine
- First Nations Health
- Mental Health
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Paediatrics and Child Health
- Palliative Care
- Remote Medicine
Application can be made for the WIP Rural Advanced Skill payment in October 2023.
Doctors can apply for the WIP-Rural Advanced Skills payment directly to the Rural Workforce Agency in the state or territory in which the doctor is currently working or has provided the majority of services. The on-line application form will become available in October 2023.
Rural Workforce Agency
Contacts for each state can be found on the contacts page