Fund­ing to at­tract more ru­ral doc­tors

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - Beef Australia 2018 -

NEW fund­ing to at­tract more doc­tors to coun­try ar­eas has been wel­comed by the Na­tional Ru­ral Health Al­liance.

The gov­ern­ment said it will de­liver 3000 new spe­cial­ist GPs, and 3000 ad­di­tional nurses over 10 years mainly through pro­vid­ing end-to-end train­ing in coun­try ar­eas.

“We are pleased the Fed­eral Bud­get al­lo­cates $550 mil­lion over 10 years to help fill the health work­force gaps that ex­ist in so many parts of coun­try Aus­tralia,” said Al­liance CEO Mark Di­a­mond.

“It’s not only doc­tors and nurses that are miss­ing out­side ma­jor cities, equally there are not enough al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als and some ar­eas have no psy­chol­o­gists, no phys­io­ther­a­pists, no oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists.”

A new work­force in­cen­tive pro­gram will pro­vide some funds to gen­eral prac­tices to em­ploy more nurses, doc­tors and, for the first time, al­lied health work­ers.

“It’s the first step in in­creas­ing the very low numbers of al­lied health work­ers in ru­ral and re­mote ar­eas,” he said.

There is new fund­ing of $105.7 mil­lion dol­lars to pro­vide cul­tur­ally ap­pro­pri­ate aged care ser­vices in re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, through the ex­ist­ing Flex­i­ble Aged Care pro­gram.

There is also $35 mil­lion to fund a new MBS item cov­er­ing de­liv­ery of dial­y­sis by health work­ers in re­mote ar­eas.

“Over­all the bud­get al­lo­cated an ex­tra $338.1 mil­lion in men­tal health fund­ing and sui­cide pre­ven­tion is a key fo­cus, a par­tic­u­lar men­tion was made of men over 85 hav­ing the high­est risk of sui­cide, with $82.5 mil­lion ear­marked for psy­cho­log­i­cal ser­vices in res­i­den­tial aged care. Pre­vi­ously res­i­dents have not had ac­cess to gov­ern­ment sup­ported psych ser­vices,” Mr Di­a­mond said.


BUD­GET: Fund­ing for ru­ral health was an­nounced.

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