The Western Australian Government has launched a recruitment campaign to help address the lack of private general practitioners across the southern inland region of Western Australia.


The press and online campaign featuring local doctors working in the region will run nationally as well as internationally in countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, where the medical training is recognised by the Australian Medical Council’s Competent Authority Pathway.


Health Minister Kim Hames said the recruitment drive was part of the $565 million Southern Inland Health Initiative, funded under the Liberal-National Government’s Royalties for Regions Program.


“A key focus of the first year will be to significantly increase the number of private GPs working in the area - which stretches from Kalbarri and Meekatharra in the north, to Laverton in the east, down to Esperance in the south-east,” Dr Hames said.


“The initiative will fund the equivalent work value of more than 40 doctors to secure emergency department and GP services in areas where GP recruitment is an ongoing challenge.


“This includes a $240 million investment in the health workforce as well as $325 million for capital works over the next five years.”


The Southern Inland Health Initiative has six activity streams to significantly boost health services to the region.


These include:


  • $182.9 million District Medical Workforce Investment Program to improve medical resources and 24-hour emergency response across the districts;
  • $147.4 million District Hospital and Health Services Investment program will provide major upgrades at six district hospitals.  Funding will redevelop and enhance the campuses at Northam, Narrogin, Merredin, Katanning, Manjimup (Warren Hospital) and Collie.  Recurrent funding of $26million will also be provided to boost primary health care services across each district;
  • $43.4 million Primary Health Care Demonstration Program will provide communities with the opportunity to re-examine how their health services are delivered.  Funding will be made available to improve primary health services for communities that opt in:
  • $36.5 million Telehealth Investment will introduce innovative ‘e’ technology and the increased use of Telehealth technology across the region, including equipment upgrades;
  • $20 million Residential Aged Care and Dementia Investment Program will provide incentive for private providers to expand options for residential aged care and dementia care;
  • The Small Hospital and Nursing Post Refurbishment Program will provide $108.8million for capital works programs for small hospitals and nursing posts to be refurbished or, if required, rebuilt to enable delivery of contemporary health care services that will match the needs of the respective communities.

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