Local News

New Doctor Program Could Be Long-Term Workforce Solution

A proposed Federal Government program to lure doctors to the country, could be a long term workforce solution according to The Rural Doctors Association of SA.

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Under the scheme, the Government will wipe the university debt of doctors or nurse practitioners if they choose to work in regional Australia.

Doctors who move to remote areas would be able to get their debt paid off faster if they stayed for at least half as many years as it took to complete their degree.

Doctor shortage on the Eyre Peninsula has been a long term issue, with the only GP in Wudinna, Dr. Scott Lewis, announcing his retirement from the position in early November and the District Council of Cleve supporting a proposal to build GP housing last week.

President of the SA branch of the Association, Peter Rischbeith, says the more doctors who can train in rural locations, the more likely they become long term participants in the rural workforce.

"This will provide some incentives for doctors to consider working at some of our regional locations and our general practices," he said.

Mr Rischbeith says they know by having good and viable health services, they’ll be more opportunities to build economic drivers.

"We know that our economy in South Australia has been driven by many of the rural sectors and rural industries, like farming, mining and tourism, so having strong health services and long term doctors committed to providing health services is a great boost for those rural communities," he said.

Photo: Pexels