Stronger Rural Health Strategy

Stronger Rural Health Strategy

15 October, 2018

The Australian Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy is a $550 million investment to support improved rural health services. The Strategy aims to achieve stronger rural, regional and remote health outcomes by aligning the distribution of the health workforce to areas of greatest need and building the capability of Australia’s medical practitioner workforce. In addition, the Strategy will provide greater opportunities for Australian doctors through better teaching, training, recruitment and retention.

The distribution of the workforce in rural, regional and remote areas will be improved by:

 Establishing a Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network to support an end-to-end training continuum for students to study medicine in the region.

 Creating a new Junior Doctor Training program with a strong focus on supporting training in rural settings. This program is integral to the development of a National Rural Generalist Pathway by the National Rural Health Commissioner.

 Expanding the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program.

 Updating the geographic eligibility criteria for rural bulk billing incentives.

 A Workforce Incentive Program to provide incentives for general practice to employ allied health professionals and for doctors to practise in non-metropolitan areas.

 Improving the return of service obligations under bonded medical training programs.

 Better monitoring and planning for future workforce needs.

 Supporting the medical training pipeline and better targeting training places to rural Australia.

 Improving the delivery and availability of dental, mental health and emergency aeromedical services in rural and remote areas by providing additional funding to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

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