GP clinics in Leichhardt are being encouraged to take advantage of funding in the 2014/15 Budget to expand their services and boost the number of trainees, says Federal MP Warren Entsch.
“We want to see more GP trainees in practices around the Far North so we’ve provided $52.5 million to rural and regional areas Australia-wide for practices to build the facilities they need to take on extra trainees,” Mr Entsch said.
“This breaks down to 175 infrastructure grants of up to $300,000 to successful applicants, with a matched contribution from the practice.”
The grants can be used to extend/improve GP practices so they have rooms and equipment to take on more junior staff, who gain valuable experience working in regional areas.
“It’s important that trainees get first-hand experience working in these areas as they will come across quite different challenges to those in metropolitan clinics,” Mr Entsch said. “At the end of the day, we’d love the trainees to stay and specialise in regional/remote medicine, and this funding might help achieve that.”
Additional funding of $35.4 million will also be made available through the General Practice Rural Incentives Programme over two years, providing financial incentives to around 13,000 doctors working in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia.
Other key commitments in the Budget for Health to regional and rural areas include:
· $40 million over four years to support extra medical intern places in private hospitals and regional and rural areas.
· Funding for an extra 300 GPs to be trained each year Australia-wide, boosting GP training places from 1,200 to 1,500 in 2015.
· GP training places will continue increasing in future years, as the Government works in partnership with business and the medical profession to reduce the costs of GP training and slash red tape.
· Doubling the Practice Incentive Payment for general practitioners who teach medical students from $100 to $200 per session.
“Patients in regional and rural areas will benefit from around 500 new nursing and allied health scholarships to target workforce shortages, costing $13.4 million over three years,” Mr Entsch said.