Rural Locum Assistance Program approve to continue in short-term

In light of the increased demand for health professionals due to COVID-19, the Australian Department of Health will continue to support rural and remote health services with vacant positions until 30 September 2020.

Known as the rural Locum Assistance Program, the initiative provides support for rural and remote health professionals who are required to take leave, whether for CPD or annual leave purposes, or as increasingly the case currently, for COVID-19 self-isolation.

COVID-19 has changed the usual patterns of behaviour for many people and this is the case for rural and remote health professionals who, the rural LAP notes in a statement, “are no longer taking CPD or recreation leave and are working overtime to ensure their local community continues to receive high quality care during this global pandemic.”

In recognition of this trend, which means that the casual pool to take over from someone on leave has decreased at the same time as additional are needed to fill vacant positions, the program requested and was successful in obtaining, continued support from the Australian Department of Health.

Health services may be eligible for between 14 and 28 days of support depending on the category location in which they are based.

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