Review to get more doctors in regional, rural and remote Australia

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler has announced a review to consider new incentives to attract doctors to areas of workforce shortages, particularly in rural and regional Australia.

The Working Better for Medicare Review will look at how to improve workforce distribution across Australia.

The review will look at Medicare’s role in locating the workforce, as well as the three main policy levers used to distribute the workforce:

  • Monash Modified Model
  • District of Workforce Shortage
  • Distribution Priority Area.

Led by nurse, advocate and remote health expert professor Sabina Knight, and former senior health bureaucrat and academic Mick Reid, the review will involve extensive stakeholder engagement, with findings expected to be provided to government in mid-2024.

The AMA recently held a Rural Medical Training Summit in response to crippling rural workforce shortages and a lack of specialist training opportunities throughout regional Australia. The AMA’s Plan for improving access to rural general practice was launched the same day.

The plan reiterated the AMA’s calls for a National Rural Health and Workforce Strategy — with funding for an independent workforce planning agency — and expanded training pathways for doctors in rural areas.

Read Minister Butler’s media release on the review

Read the report from the Rural Medical Training Summit

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