Doubling docs in rural Queensland

Published Friday, 01 November, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Minister for Health
The Honourable Lawrence Springborg

A $1.8 million boost and a redirection of scholarship funding will double the number of rural generalist training places in Queensland by 2016.

Speaking at the Rural Generalists Medicine World Summit today, Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the initiative would help turn around Queensland’s rural workforce shortage.

“This government is taking action to ensure rural and regional communities have better access to high quality medical services,” Mr Springborg said.

“Doubling intake numbers from 37 in 2013 to 80 in 2016 will ensure people in the regions get the treatment they need, closer to where they live.

“Importantly, it will also return procedural skills like obstetrics and anaesthetics to rural communities.

“This is a common-sense decision that should have been made many years ago, because ever since the program started in 2007 there have been more applicants than positions available on Queensland’s Rural Generalist Pathway.

“The Newman Government has delivered a win-win result which will satisfy demand to enter this pathway and meet the need for doctors in our rural and remote communities.”

Mr Springborg said today’s announcement reinforced the government’s commitment to rural and remote Queensland which in 2013 has included:

  • 50 new midwives for rural and regional areas, ensuring women across the State have more access to specialised services
  • 105 new rural graduate nursing positions
  • a new $30.9 million Rural Telehealth Service as part of the $82 million Revitalisation of regional, rural and remote services package

Doctors can join the new pathway as early as their intern year.

[ENDS] 1 November 2013

Media Contact: Clare Mildren 0417 255 284