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.
In 2012-13 six regional partnerships have been selected to establish a GP-RG pathway. 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 will be 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 to (03) 9096 7315.
Victorian rural medical scholarships scheme
The Victorian Government has allocated approximately $2 million over four years to support a rural scholarships program to assist in attracting early medical graduates to rural and regional Victoria. In 2013 a scholarship of $20,000 is available and may be used to cover living expenses, a tertiary grant and travel and conference assistance, to provide support for students wishing to study medicine in rural and regional Victoria.
A return of service commitment to practise in a rural or regional area of Victoria for a minimum of two years is required of scholarship recipients.
Applications for 2013 are now open. Please click here to apply online.
Applications close 5.00pm on 7 June 2013
Advanced GP procedural training posts
GP procedural posts are supernumerary advanced procedural skill posts with Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) Advanced Rural Skills Post (ARSP) accreditation. Funding of $100,000 per 12 months is available for posts in anaesthetics, surgery, obstetrics and emergency medicine. Funding is available for posts in an identified area of workforce shortage. Posts are administered by the Victorian GP Regional Training Providers (RTPs).
Extended skills for GPs
The Extended Skills for GPs program supports the acquisition of specialised skills for GPs in Victoria. It aims to achieve a skilled GP workforce that is proficient at the delivery of medical services required in Victoria, as well as increased retention and recruitment of GPs in areas of workforce shortage. Extended skills posts are administered by the Victorian GP Regional Training Providers (RTPs).
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.
Rural medical workforce partnerships
Training for both Australian and international medical graduates occurs 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.
Roads to rural practice
The Department of Health’s framework for recruitment and retention of rural and regional medical practitioners is known as Roads to Rural Practice.