Published: December 23, 2019

Delivering a stronger rural health workforce

Regional, rural and remote communities and patients across Australia will benefit from changes that begin on 1 January 2020 that will support more doctors, allied health professionals, nurses and Aboriginal health practitioners to work in country areas.

The changes are key elements of the Coalition Government’s $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy, which is delivering 3000 new doctors and 3000 more nurses into regional areas to better care for country patients, in addition to a number of other initiatives.

“The Government is working to support more doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to live and work in rural, regional and remote areas,” Minister Coulton said.

Minister Coulton said the three new initiatives that begin on 1 January are:

• The Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) which supports doctors and clinics to employ nurses, allied health professionals and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander practitioners to ensure patients can get help when they need it;
• The Bonded Medical Program which offers medical students with a Commonwealth Supported Place in a medical course at an Australian university in return for their commitment to work in certain regions once they have graduated; and
• Changes to rural bulk billing incentives that will ensure rural rebates are not being accessed by city clinics.

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Delivering a stronger rural health workforce

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