RDAA President Dr RT Lewandowski said substantial rural health improvements need not require sweeping systemic overhauls. By addressing high-impact pressure points within existing infrastructure, positive change and sustainability can build over time.
One priority area is ensuring fair compensation for unpaid hours rural GPs invest in training medical students and trainees. Streamlining complex supervision funding policies could also incentivise robust instruction.
Other recommendations aim to expand rural exposure for doctors-in-training, grow non-GP specialty access through financial incentives, improve work-life balance via on-site childcare and boost awareness of support programs.
“Improving the attractiveness and accessibility of a rural medical career does not need ‘Go Big or Go Home’ solutions,” Dr Lewandowski said. “While I’m sure many of us come up suggestions to transform the entire rural health sector, the reality is that significant change takes time, and it’s time that we just don’t have when we are looking to address the maldistribution of Australia’s health workforce.
Other targeted funding requests include:
“Starting small but in the right areas can make a big impact,” Dr Lewandowski said. “We hope the Albanese Government will see that significant improvements can be made within the existing system, and fund these in the 2024-25 Budget,”