South Australians living in regional areas will benefit from a landmark agreement between the Marshall Liberal Government and regional doctors.
The agreement will see the Government invest an estimated $188 million over two years – a more than 20 percent increase in funding – to help attract and retain GP services in regional South Australia and ensure the continuity of high quality rural hospital services.
Premier Steven Marshall welcomed the agreement as the most significant investment in rural GPs in a generation.
“The agreement is a tangible demonstration of the State Liberal Government’s commitment to delivering better health services, closer to home for regional South Australians. This agreement will help us deliver that goal,” Premier Marshall said.
“GPs are key partners in ensuring high quality health care services can continue to be delivered in regional South Australia, and we welcome this landmark agreement.
“Over the years, the remuneration of GPs working in rural South Australia has fallen significantly behind other jurisdictions making it harder to recruit and retain GPs in regional and remote locations.
“This investment is a generational change for regional health in South Australia, with the total value of the payments under the agreement projected to increase by over 20 percent.”
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the new agreement will significantly boost a range of Marshall Liberal Government strategies to attract and retain rural GPs.
“South Australia faces many challenges in recruiting, training and developing the health professionals needed to deliver health services in rural areas, and that’s exactly why we are already investing $20 million into our Rural Health Workforce Strategy,” Minister Wade said.
“Significantly, it is those living in and requiring health care in regional South Australia that will benefit the most from this investment. We are doing everything we can to ensure the highest quality health care is available to all South Australians no matter where they live.
Key benefits of the agreement include a sign-up bonus of up to $50,000 for a doctor to work in the more remote areas of the state, and the capacity for doctors to work for a sessional (hourly) rate for hospital work or to remain with a fee-for-service structure.
The agreement is the result of several months of work between the Rural Support Service, Rural Doctors Association (RDASA) and the Australian Medical Association South Australia (AMASA) in consultation with regional Local Health Networks.