Initiatives and programs
The Approved Medical Deputising Services (AMDS) program enables non-vocationally recognised doctors to access Medicare benefits for providing after-hours services on behalf of other doctors. This helps them get general practice experience, while ensuring people can access health care after hours.
Through the APED Program, advanced specialist trainees doing their emergency medicine training can work under supervision in a private hospital for 12 months and access relevant Medicare items. This helps increase the number of emergency medicine specialists in Australia.
We contribute funding to these scholarships, which support medical students to complete a year at a Rural Clinical School. The aim is to encourage students to practice medicine in rural Australia.
We contribute funding for these scholarships, which support nursing students to complete their major clinical placement and graduating year in a rural or remote area. The aim is to encourage students to pursue a nursing career in rural Australia.
The Bonded Medical Places Scheme has closed to new applicants. Existing participants can either continue with this scheme or opt in to the more flexible Bonded Medical Program.
The Bonded Medical Program helps address the shortage of medical professionals in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia. It provides a Commonwealth Supported Place in a medical course in exchange for participants working in those areas after they graduate.
COAG Section 19(2) Exemptions Initiative – Improving Access to Primary Care in Rural and Remote Areas
This initiative improves access to primary care in rural and remote areas. It allows states and the Northern Territory to claim Medicare benefits for primary health care services at approved health facilities or sites.
DoctorConnect provides information to international medical graduates and their employers. It aims to help international medical graduates understand the steps required to work as a doctor in Australia, where they can work and restrictions on billing patients under Medicare.
The Five Year International Medical Graduates Recruitment Scheme improves access to doctors in rural and remote areas. It increases the supply of doctors to work in these areas where their services are needed the most.
The Flexible Approach to Training in Expanded Settings (FATES) program funds non-general practitioner specialist medical training approaches. It aims to broaden the skills of the specialist workforce, bring more specialists to regional areas, and ensure all Australians can access high-quality care.
The General Practitioner Procedural Training Support Program (GPPTSP) aims to improve maternity services for women living in rural and remote areas. It supports general practitioners (GPs) in those areas to gain procedural skills in anaesthetics and obstetrics.
The program provides funds to the health workforce in rural areas to help upskill through professional development , training, short courses and seminars.
This initiative reduces outstanding Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt for eligible doctors and nurse practitioners who live and work in rural, remote or very remote areas of Australia.
Learn how this program helps organisations trial new ways of providing primary care in rural and remote communities.
As part of the 2021-22 Budget, the Australian Government announced the new John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program. This program will better streamline and coordinate medical training in regions and fund new rural primary care rotations to boost training capacity for the next generation of doctors.
The Junior Doctor Training Program (JDTP) supports education and supervision for junior doctors in rural primary health care settings and private hospitals. This helps provide a continued supply of doctors to deliver health services across Australia. It is part of our Stronger Rural Health Strategy.
The Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme has closed to new applicants. Existing participants can either continue with this scheme or opt in to the more flexible Bonded Medical Program.
This program is for doctors who are temporary or permanent residents of Australia and not vocationally recognised. Doctors on this program get support and training towards joining a college fellowship program to become vocationally recognised.
The Murray–Darling Medical Schools Network establishes 5 rurally based university medical school programs in New South Wales and Victoria. Medical students can stay rural while they study medicine. This is part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy initiative.
The National Medical Workforce Strategy (2021–2031) has been developed to guide long-term medical workforce planning across Australia. This 10-year strategy will improve access to health care by supporting the right people to have the right skills, where we need them most.
The Non-VR FSP supports doctors to gain their fellowship. This increases access to high-quality primary health care and enables doctors to register as specialist general practitioner and access higher Medicare rebates.
The ONRHC provides policy advice to the minister responsible for rural health. The National Rural Health Commissioner leads work to improve rural health policies and ensure there remains a strong focus on the health needs of rural communities.
The Other Medical Practitioner (OMPs) programs provide access to higher Medicare rebates for doctors without fellowship who deliver services in approved locations and meet eligibility requirements.
Find out how this program helps rural and remote communities work out their primary care needs and design health care that works for them.
Australia’s 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are independent organisations working to streamline health services – particularly for those at risk of poor health outcomes – and to better coordinate care so people receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.
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