A new offer is on the table for healthcare workers, encouraging them to bring their sought after skills to the sticks.
The new incentives, luring eligible rural generalists and general practitioners to rural and remote areas across Australia, offer up to $21,000 a year.
It’s hoped the Rural Advanced Skills payments under the federal Workforce Incentives Program will fill gaps across mental health, obstetrics, gynaecology, surgery, anaesthetics, paediatrics and child health, adult internal medicine, palliative care, remote medicine and First Nations health.
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The Australia-wide offers start between $4000 and $10,500 per year for doctors that can provide at least one of these “advanced skills services”.
But an additional payment stream offering between $4000 and $10,500 per year is also available for eligible doctors qualified to provide emergency care.
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The payments are scaled according to the remoteness of the location doctors would be working — classified between three and seven on the Modified Monash Model (MMM) — and how in-demand the specialisations an applicant possesses are, in each location.
Payments became available on January 1, 2024, and won’t close until March 31, 2026.
They will recognise services delivered during 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler called it “a win-win for doctors and for patients who will be able to access more health care services in their own community,” in a statement on Monday.
Based on the number of doctors with rural generalist skills, departmental data suggests that 2500 doctors could be eligible for each payment stream.
Eligible doctors can find more information, and apply for one or both of the payments streams, by visiting The Department of Health’s Rural Advanced Skills Stream page.