The Mid-Eyre and Streaky Bay medical practices will be funded to support, develop and train young doctors after being announced as a targeted recruitment locations under the Government’s new scheme to attract GPs into regional areas.
This pilot scheme provides wage support and supports doctors to gain their GP qualification while living in a rural or remote area.
The Mid Eyre Medical Practice and the Streaky Bay & Districts Medical Centre have been added to the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) Extended Targeted Recruitment Pilot location list meaning doctors interested in rural and remote general practice will receive income support while working at the local clinic and training towards their formal GP qualification.
The scheme provides wage support and distance education for young doctors while they work towards obtaining their Medical College Fellowship.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the pilot scheme provides up to $501,000 in income support over the course of each doctor’s training, depending on their Modified Monash Model rating, to make the location more appealing to young doctors.
“The aim of this support scheme is to encourage more young doctors to take up rural and remote GP work, and ensure they have adequate support, distance mentoring and education to get their medical college fellowship,” he said.
“Australia has sufficient numbers of doctors, but far too few of them are prepared to work in our regions and many of the are intimidated by the breadth of the medical challenge of rural practice.
“The primary role of RVTS is to adequately equip doctors with the higher level of skills required.
“There is no silver bullet which will solve the imbalance of doctors and we continue as a government to direct extra resources to addressing the problem. This is an excellent program and I am very pleased to have the Mid-Eyre and Streaky Bay practices included.
“I understand both these clinics are recruiting for GPs so I am hopeful this incentive may help them find a registrar to join their clinics.”
Streaky Bay is a (MMM) 7 location and Mid Eyre is MMM 6.
Regional Health Minister and former regional GP, Dr David Gillespie said it was important that junior doctors were adequately supported to work rurally and without this scheme, even more young doctors would be holed up in cities undertaking this significant part of their training.
“This is a win-win for patients in Streaky Bay and Mid-Eyre regions and the local medical clinics,” he said.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said the RVTS is going from strength to strength in providing better access to doctors in the bush.
“To date, it has provided training to more than 400 doctors to over 300 rural and remote communities. Overall, 90 per cent of participants who have completed the program have attained GP fellowship qualifications,” he said.
“The RVTS has also supported doctors working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with more than 50 doctors enrolled in Aboriginal medical services since 2014. These doctors are providing primary care services in more than 40 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across the country.
“The past success of the program is why the Government is investing an additional $20.9 million to extend a GP training program that is providing more doctors to rural and remote areas in Australia.
“This additional funding will enable the scheme to be extended for a further three years, enabling doctors to gain their specialist qualification in general practice – while living and working in a rural or remote area.”
Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 02 6277 4967 March 17 2022