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 General Practitioner – Rural Generalist (GP-RG) program integrates training in primary care and procedural practice from internship through to postgraduate year five. This program aims to give medical students a supported and cohesive pathway to a rural career as a general practitioner with advanced skills in the areas of obstetrics, anaesthetics, emergency medicine or 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on (03) 9096 7315.
Victorian rural medical scholarships scheme (VRMS)
The Victorian Government has allocated $1.8 million over four years to support a rural scholarships program to assist medical students, with a commitment to working in rural and regional Victoria, with living and tertiary expenses. The Scheme supports career pathways to rural medical practice, and assists rural and regional health services to attract, employ and retain medical graduates.
The Victorian Rural Medical Scholarships Scheme (VRMS) is administered by the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria (PMCV) on behalf of the Department of Health.
In 2014, 40 scholarships valued at $20,000 each are available to be awarded to final year medical students in Victoria, with a demonstrated commitment to rural practice, in return for a two year commitment to work in rural and regional Victoria following graduation.
Commencing in 2014, VRMS scholarships will be linked to Rural Community Intern Training (RCIT) places.
Victoria is increasing the number of RCIT places from 10 in 2014 to up to 30 in 2015. Rural Community Intern Training (RCIT) provides medical graduates with the opportunity to commence their postgraduate training in a rural location and to undertake non-core rotations in community settings, such as community health and general practice. In Victoria, RCIT programs feed into the Victorian General Practitioner – Rural Generalist (GP-RG) program.
Scholarship offers will be made to all applicants successfully matched to an RCIT place in Victoria and who otherwise meet the eligibility criteria (maximum of 30 scholarships).
Consideration for further scholarship offers will be given to eligible applicants with an intention to enter a GP-RG program and who are not matched to a RCIT place but to another rural or regional Victorian health service (minimum of 10 scholarships).
Applications for 2014 scholarships are now closed.
For further information regarding the Victorian Rural Medical Scholarship Scheme (VRMS) please contact Liana Thomas in the Department at email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.