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More than 200 university health students and young doctors are expected to take part.
More than 200 university health students and young doctors are expected to take part.

A national campaign promoting rural medical careers has been launched with the aim of attracting students and young doctors to the country.

The Go Rural campaign highlights the advantages of rural training and the professional rewards of being a country doctor.

“Going rural is definitely the best medicine for young health professionals,” says Greg Mundy, CEO of Rural Health Workforce Australia (RHWA).

“The variety, the opportunities, the financial incentives – they all add up to a ticket to a first-class career.”

RHWA is running Go Rural with the state and territory Rural Workforce Agencies, whose role is to attract, recruit and support health professionals for rural communities.

The not-for-profit agencies are holding a series of Go Rural events around the country including skills days, regional bus tours and opportunities to meet experienced rural GPs.

Go Rural is coming to Coles Bay in Tasmania this weekend followed by events in places like Mudgee, Gulgong, Dunedoo, Katherine, Kalgoorlie, Traralgon and Sale.

More than 200 university health students and young doctors are expected to take part. RHWA and the agencies are also promoting Federal Government relocation incentives up to $120,000 for doctors who want to go rural.

The Go Rural campaign partners are the New South Wales Rural Doctors Network, Rural Workforce Agency Victoria, Health Workforce Queensland, the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency in South Australia, Rural Health West in Western Australia, Health Recruitment Plus Tasmania, and the Northern Territory Medicare Local.

Go Rural is funded by the Federal Department of Health.

Rural Health Workforce Australia is the national peak body for the seven state and territory Rural Workforce Agencies. Our not-for-profit network attracts, recruits and supports health professionals needed to work in rural and remote communities.

Across Australia in 2013-2014, our network:

  • Recruited more than 590 new doctors, nurses and allied health professionals for rural, regional and remote communities and Aboriginal Medical Services
  • Delivered 250,000 patient services through outreach specialist teams and Indigenous chronic disease programs
  • Awarded rural relocation grants to 68 dentists
  • Met 600 requests for locum relief so rural doctors could take a break
  • Supported 1,500 rural practices with recruitment, workforce planning and business management training
  • Helped 258 doctors to obtain Fellowship, which recognises excellence in general practice and is a sign that rural people are receiving quality care
  • Assisted 1,780 doctors with professional development
  • Funded 300 university Rural Health Club members to visit 117 rural high schools where they spoke about health careers to more than 5,000 country students
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