Our work related to the rural health workforce

A list of our initiatives, programs, campaigns, reforms or reviews related to the rural health workforce.

Our related work

Approved Medical Deputising Services (AMDS) program

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.

Approved Private Emergency Department (APED) Program

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.

Australian Rotary Health Rural Nursing Scholarships

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.

Bonded Medical Places Scheme

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.

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.

DoctorConnect

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.

Flexible Approach to Training in Expanded Settings (FATES)

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.

Health Workforce Scholarship Program

The program provides funds to the health workforce in rural areas to help upskill through professional development , training, short courses and seminars.

HELP for Rural Doctors and Nurse Practitioners

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.

John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program 

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.

Junior Doctor Training Program

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.

Medical Rural Bonded Scholarship Scheme

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.

More Doctors for Rural Australia 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.

Murray–Darling Medical Schools Network

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.

National Medical Workforce Strategy 2021–2031

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.

Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner

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.

Other Medical Practitioners programs

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.

Primary Health Networks

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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