NACCHO Aboriginal Health Funding alert : $13.1m infrastructure grants for existing regional, rural and remote general practices.

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 ” Grants may be used for a range of infrastructure projects, including construction, fit-out and/or renovation of an existing general practice building, supply and installation of information and communication technology equipment or medical equipment.

Grants of up to $300,000 will be provided to successful applicants in 2017. All successful applicants will be required to match the Commonwealth funding contribution.”

Assistant Minister for Rural Health Dr David Gillespie

“Improved training facilities, such as communication technology, will also ensure that rural doctors can increase their own training opportunities, so they can continue to keep their skills current and maintain their practice at the high level that they strive for and that rural communities deserve.”

Dr Ewen McPhee, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) see full press release below

The Australian Government has committed $13.1 million in funding under the Rural General Practice Grants Program (the Program) for grants up to $300,000 each to deliver improved health services through additional infrastructure, increased levels of teaching and training for health practitioners, and more opportunities to deliver ‘healthy living’ education to local communities.

The Program will provide an opportunity for general practices within Modified Monash Classification 2-7 to deliver increased health services in rural and regional communities.

The Program commences with a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI), in which suitable organisations will be identified and subsequently invited to submit a full application.

Project Officer Details Name: Health State Network
Ph: 02 6289 5600 E-mail: Grant.ATM@health.gov.au
Closing date 2:00 pm AEDST on 13 December 2016

Submit your detail here

Teaching, training and retaining the next generation of health workers in rural, regional and remote Australia is a priority for the Coalition Government.

Assistant Minister for Rural Health Dr David Gillespie said the Coalition Government has moved to streamline the former Rural and Regional Teaching Infrastructure Grants program to better respond to the needs of rural communities and support the work of rural general practices.

“A more streamlined and simplified two-step application process is now open through the new Rural General Practice Grants (RGPG) program,” Dr Gillespie said.

“General practice in rural Australia faces unique challenges in healthcare including the ability to attract and retain a health workforce.

“The RGPG program will enable existing health facilities to provide teaching and training opportunities for a range of health professionals within the practice and for practitioners to develop experience in training and supervising healthcare workers.

“I believe that strong, accessible primary care in regional Australia helps alleviate pressure on the public hospital system and at the same time it also provides opportunities for earlier intervention and better patient outcomes.”

“Our Government wants Australians, no matter where they live, to have access to quality health services,” Dr Gillespie said.

“I also want our health professionals who live and work in rural, regional and remote Australia to have access to teaching and training opportunities so they remain in general practice and in the communities that need them the most.”

Grant documentation will be available from the Department of Health’s Tenders and Grants page at www.health.gov.au/tenders.

Rural doctors congratulate government on new grants program

Australian rural doctors are today welcoming the announcement of a streamlined Rural General Practice Grants (RGPG) program, just announced by Dr David Gillespie, Assistant Minister for Rural Health.

Dr Ewen McPhee, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), said that the announcement was a reflection of the importance the Coalition Government places on rural and remote health care.

“We are extremely pleased that Minister Gillespie has been so proactive in his Rural Health portfolio, and he has shown a great understanding of the need for increased training facilities to enable the education of the next generation of rural doctors,” Dr McPhee said.

“The RGPG will allow more of our highly skilled doctors in rural areas to improve their training capacity, allowing them to take on more young doctors in training and ensure they have access to quality educational opportunities in rural areas.

“Research shows us that young doctors who undertake training in rural areas, and have a good experience in their placement, are more likely to choose rural medicine as a career.

“Grants enabling doctors to improve and expand their training facilities will play a key role in the recruitment and retention of the rural doctor workforce of the future,” Dr McPhee said.

While infrastructure grants have been available for rural practices for some time, the application process was onerous, complicated and time consuming, putting it out of the reach of many small practices who did not have the time or expertise to successfully apply.

Grants can be used for a range of projects, including construction, fit-out and/or renovation of an existing general practice building, supply and installation of information and communication technology equipment or medical equipment.

“Simplifying and streamlining the process will ensure that these smaller clinics will no longer be disadvantaged by the system,” Dr McPhee said.

Many doctors enjoy the opportunity to engage with young doctors and be a part of their training journey. We look forward to more of our colleagues being able to participate in this way thanks to the Coalition’s commitment to rural health.

“Improved training facilities, such as communication technology, will also ensure that rural doctors can increase their own training opportunities, so they can continue to keep their skills current and maintain their practice at the high level that they strive for and that rural communities deserve.

“We thank Minister Gillespie for his recognition of the importance of this area.”

The third Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable was held at Parliament House in Canberra on the 16 November 2016.

rural-health

Twenty years ago one of Australia’s greatest health challenges was a lack of doctors coming through the system.

Today, that challenge has been overcome with latest research predicting a surplus of 7000 doctors by 2030,” the Federal Minister for Rural Health, Dr David Gillespie, said today.

“The new challenge is no longer the number of doctors in our nation’s health workforce, but where they are distributed.

“This issue, along with the need for greater numbers of allied health professionals in the bush, are among the major topics to be discussed at the third Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable at Parliament House in Canberra today,” Dr Gillespie said.

“The Roundtable was attended by an impressive representation of rural health stakeholders, from rural doctors associations, medical educators, rural health consumer and advocacy groups, Aboriginal medical services, rural and remote allied health organisations and health workforce professionals.

“We have an outstanding health workforce in the regional, rural and remote areas of this country and today’s roundtable is designed to get all the key players together with government to work out the very best strategies to support them and the work they do for our more isolated communities.”

Minister Gillespie said the Coalition Government is investing record funding in health as part of its commitment to strengthen the regional, rural and remote health system so that Australians living in these areas have access to the best care available.

“Our Government is working in partnership with these people to deliver health care to rural and remote communities through a broad range of initiatives as part of our record funding investment in the health portfolio.”

The Roundtable will discuss today the establishment of the National Rural Health Commissioner (the Commissioner), a new role to champion the cause of rural practice.

The Commissioner will work with rural, regional and remote communities, the health sector, universities, specialist training colleges and across all levels of Government to improve rural health policies.

Another priority item on the agenda is the development of the National Rural Generalist Pathway. This will improve access to training for doctors in rural, regional and remote Australia, and recognise the unique combination of skills required for the role of a rural generalist.

“General practitioners with advanced skills in areas such as general surgery, obstetrics, anaesthetics and mental health are commonly required in the bush also,” Dr Gillespie said.

“We want to make sure these skills are encouraged, developed and properly remunerated.”

Minister Gillespie said the Coalition Government had increased its investment in education and training initiatives both in medical and allied health professions to create a longer term ‘pipelines’ of boosting the rural health workforce.

“The new multidisciplinary training pipeline incorporating the Rural Clinical Schools and University Departments of Rural Health across regional Australia will be a critical component as we boost the capacity of training through our investment in Regional Training Hubs to bring more doctors and allied health professionals to the bush,” he said.

In response to recommendations put forward to the Rural Classification Technical Working Group, an independent group that has assisted the Government to implement the new geographical classification system, I announce today that more support will be provided to medical practitioners working in Cloncurry, Queensland and Roebourne, Western Australia.

“I am pleased to also announce an additional workforce support in the form of a rural loading will be applied to all doctors working in these two towns from 1 January 2017,”  Minister Gillespie said.

“The additional loading will be up to $25,000 per annum through the General Practice Rural Incentives Program and will recognise exceptional circumstances faced in attracting and retaining a workforce in these locations.

“The Coalition Government’s broader health reforms will have direct benefits for regional, rural and remote health, with the patient at the centre of care. Localised, integrated, community-driven health care is the order of the day,” Dr Gillespie said.

“The Rural Health Stakeholder Roundtable is a central part of informing policy reform in rural Australia and I am looking forward to fruitful discussions with participants today.”

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