IN­CEN­TIVES FOR RU­RAL DOC­TORS

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By DANIEL BUR­DON AND JIM ALOUAT

IN­CEN­TIVES to at­tract more doc­tors to Childers will be boosted un­der Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment changes to the GP Ru­ral In­cen­tives Pro­gram.

The clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem that con­trols how in­cen­tives are dis­trib­uted un­der the pro­gram will be up­dated to a new model from July this year, which recog­nises town size and re­mote­ness.

About 450 small ru­ral towns will get more in­cen­tives for doc­tors, with $50 mil­lion di­verted from 14 larger re­gional cen­tres that will no longer qual­ify.

Un­der the cur­rent sys­tem, doc­tors prac­tis­ing in Childers may be el­i­gi­ble for a max­i­mum of up to $12,000 per year – based on the year level 5 pay­ments.

Un­der the new sys­tem, doc­tors prac­tis­ing in Childers may be el­i­gi­ble for in­cen­tives up to a max­i­mum of $23,000 per year based on the year level five pay­ments and ser­vice level.

A spokesman for As­sis­tant Health Min­is­ter Fiona Nash told the Isis Town and Coun­try this would fur­ther in­crease the sup­ply of doc­tors to smaller com­mu­ni­ties be­cause doc­tors seek­ing sub­si­dies would need to base them­selves in a more ru­ral lo­ca­tion – such as the Isis re­gion.

“The Coali­tion has also in­creased train­ing places from 1200 to 1500 and 50% of those are in ru­ral ar­eas,” he said.

“The Coali­tion con­tin­ues to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion and con­sider other mea­sures to at­tract more doc­tors to live in ru­ral, re­gional and re­mote Australia.”

AMA Queens­land pres­i­dent Dr Shaun Rudd said the change would mean in­cen­tives were dis­trib­uted more fairly to “truly ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas”.

But he said in­cen­tives were “only part of the story” and GPs work­ing in ru­ral ar­eas needed a more re­al­is­tic and flex­i­ble work­ing en­vi­ron­ment.

“They can’t be on call 24 hours a day, and we need more ru­ral train­ing places to help peo­ple stay longer or re­turn to the bush and ob­vi­ously you need to help sup­port their fam­i­lies,” Dr Rudd said.

“We also need more su­per­vi­sion, es­pe­cially for younger doc­tors, so they don’t feel like they’re go­ing out there with no sup­port.”

Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Deb­bie Car­roll said any help to en­able GPs to start prac­tice in small ru­ral towns would be viewed pos­i­tively.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.