Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund

14 Mar 2017

The Government has announced that applications for funding under the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund (RJDTIF) are now open. The RJDTIF is designed to enable rural based interns to gain an experience in primary care settings, such as general practice, as an additional elective placement to their mandatory core rotations.  The Commonwealth will contribute to the cost of including primary care rotations within the larger rural training networks for junior doctors (interns), established within state and territory health systems.

The AMA has strongly encouraged more prevocational training in general practice and has proposed a Community Residency Program., which is broader than the Government’s approach and extends to beyond the intern year.

“While we support this measure, it falls short of the 975 prevocational general practice training program places that were lost in the 2014 Federal Budget. That left general practice as the only major medical specialty that did not offer prevocational doctors the opportunity of a prevocational training experience,” said Dr John Zorbas, Chair, AMA Council of Doctors in Training.

“It’s important to give prevocational doctors exposure to general practice and primary care in rural settings early on in their careers.  It gives them a better understanding of the role of general practice and encourage them to consider a GP career.”

“We also know doctors that have a positive rural training experience are more likely to practice in rural areas. This includes providing accommodation for doctors who have to train away from home.”

But more is needed to create training places in rural areas along the medical training pipeline post internship and in vocational training. The Government is building regional training hubs to support training and these should be accessible to both prevocational and vocational trainees. Again, this is something the AMA has proposed and the AMA is committed to making these work.

“Done properly, these will allow doctors to live and train in rural areas and establish professional and personal connections that make it more likely that they will remain to practice there in the future” Dr Zorbas said

Get more info on the Rural Junior Doctor Innovation Fund

Read the AMA’s Community residency proposal

Read the AMA position on Regional training networks