Coalition to deliver more doctors for regional and rural Australia

07 March, 2017

Hundreds of new junior doctors are set to experience work as a general practitioner in regional and rural Australia through a new Australian Government initiative.

The opening of the Coalition Government's Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund (RJDTIF) will work as part of the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline measure to help tackle one of Australia's biggest health challenges – locating doctors, particularly GPs, in regional, rural and remote Australia.

"I am pleased to announce with Minister Gillespie, that applications are now open for organisations to develop training rotations under the RJDTIF," Minister Hunt said.

"The RJDTIF is designed to enable rural based junior doctors completing their intern year to gain experience in rural general practice, in addition to their hospital based rotations."

At least 60 junior doctors will be supported under the program each year, at a cost of up to $10 million. They will train in a variety of primary care settings, such as general practice and Aboriginal Medical Services. This will improve the pathway for new graduates into challenging and rewarding careers as doctors with the skills needed by rural communities.

Minister Gillespie said doctors who live and train in regional and rural areas are more likely to practice in similar areas once they qualify.

"Having practiced most of my 33 years in medicine in regional Australia, I know how important training doctors in regional areas is in our overall efforts to attract and retain doctors in the bush," Minister Gillespie said.

"The RJDTIF is an innovative step by the Coalition Government to address the medical workforce shortage in rural Australia and, in turn, improve the health outcomes of people living in these areas.

"Our Government is committed to strengthening rural training for junior doctors in rural areas.