The Department of Health offers a range of funding programs to support rural health education and training and encourage rural recruitment and retention.
General practitioner - rural generalist program
The Victorian Government has committed $2.4 million across four years to establish a General Practitioner – Rural Generalist (GP-RG) program to enhance retention and recruitment of rural GPs. The GP-RG integrates training in primary care and procedural practice from internship to postgraduate year five. This program aims to give medical students a supported and cohesive pathway to a rural career in the areas of obstetrics, anaesthetics, emergency medicine and surgery.
Six regional partnerships manage the GP-RG program across all areas of rural Victoria. These partnerships include rural clinical schools, local medical practices, and regional and rural health services as well as established regional training providers.
Administration and selection into the training program is the responsibility of each regional/local partnership with preference given to applicants from rural clinical schools.
For further information regarding the Victorian GP - Rural Generalist Program, please contact Joan O’Neill in the Department at email@example.com or by phone on (03) 9096 7315.
Victorian rural medical scholarships scheme
The Victorian Government has allocated $1.8 million over four years to support a rural scholarships program to assist in attracting early medical graduates to rural and regional Victoria. Scholarships of $20,000 are awarded to final year medical students with a demonstrated commitment to rural practice and assist students to meet the costs of completing their medical education in return for a two year commitment to work in rural and regional Victoria following graduation.
Applications for 2013 are now closed.
Information about future scholarships will be available from 2014. For further information regarding the Victorian Rural Medical Scholarship Scheme (VRMS) please contact Liana Thomas in the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on (03) 9096 0590.
Rural Extended and Advanced Procedural Skills (REAPS) program
The Rural Extended and Advanced Procedural Skills (REAPS) program, formerly the Advanced Rural Procedural and Extended Skills program, supports the development and maintenance of a flexible and skilled health workforce to meet the medical service needs of a rural and regional Victoria. Funding assists rural general practitioners (GPs) to undertake additional training in an extended or advanced procedural skill to address identified local service requirements.
Training posts under the REAPS program are administered by the Victorian GP Regional Training Providers (RTPs).
For further information regarding the REAPS program, please contact Joan O’Neill in the Department at email@example.com or by phone on (03) 9096 7315
Rural continuing medical education (CME) grants
Funding of $1.0 million over four years is available for grants to offset the costs of medical education for doctors working in rural and regional Victoria and to encourage trainee doctors to complete rural placements. Specific grants are available to rural doctors to update their knowledge and skills at metropolitan locations. Trainee doctors, who complete a minimum of 13 weeks in a rural placement, are eligible for an additional allowance.
The program is administered by the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) on behalf of the Department of Health. Further information is available from the RWAV website.
Rural International Medical Graduate Partnerships (RIMGP)
Assessment, up-skilling and support for international medical graduates in traditional teaching hospitals, smaller health services, general practices and other community and ambulatory care services. Funding is available from the department to support health services to work together to enhance medical education and training in rural and regional areas.
Continuing professional development (CPD) for rural GPs subsidy program
The Department of Health provides funding to the Rural Workforce Agency Victoria (RWAV) to support CPD activities for GPs working in rural general practice in Victoria.
Further information is available from the RWAV website.
Country education program
The Department of Health provides funding to the Victorian Medical Postgraduate Foundation (VMPF) for a Country education program (CEP). The CEP is an accredited series of talks running throughout country Victoria by specialist speakers in various fields of medical practice and research.
Further information on the CEP program is available from the VMPF website.