Thursday, June 27, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Cash Incentive To Attract Doctors To The Regions

Queensland doctors, including those in Mackay, will receive a $40,000 boost to train in General Practice under a new $20 million Miles Labor Government workforce attraction incentive scheme.

The incentive will bolster Queensland’s primary care services by incentivising trainees commencing their training from 2025 and 2026, to undertake General Practitioner training across Queensland.

The payment will also address some of the issues young doctors face when considering a career in general practice.

Typically, other medical specialties offer higher remuneration due to the different training system environments.

The initiative is in addition to the State Government’s Workforce Attraction Incentive Scheme which was established on 1 July 2023 to help drive recruitment success across the health system.

There are currently 38 people who have accepted jobs in Mackay under the scheme, relocating from as far as the United Kingdom, India, Ireland, Nigeria and New Zealand.

Premier Steven Miles addressed the media in Mackay earlier this week, saying that Queensland’s primary care system suffered from a “decade of underfunding by the former federal LNP government”.

“And our busy emergency departments are still paying the price – Queenslanders are showing up at emergency departments in their highest numbers ever, sicker than ever,” Premier Miles said.

“To alleviate that pressure, I am putting new GP incentives on the table to give our primary care system a much-needed helping hand.

“That means here in Mackay, we’ll see more GPs in the community, helping Queenslanders in need.

“That’s what matters to me, because it matters to Queenslanders,” he added.

“Delivering healthcare closer to home for the Mackay community is one of my top priorities and I am proud to be delivering that in my first budget as Premier.”

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Service and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman was also in Mackay, and said she is proud that the state government is focused on delivering the highest quality service and health outcomes for all Queenslanders.

“We know that the Mackay community is feeling the impact of GP workforce shortages, with patients experiencing longer wait times, delays in seeing their GP or not being able to access one at all,” Minister Fentiman said.

“Our government’s commitment of $40,000 will ensure more GPs are working in our communities and the GP workforce remains strong now and into the future.

“More GPs means better healthcare outcomes for patients and improved health and wellbeing for Queenslanders.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert added that the demand for our health services in Mackay is growing.

“We know our GPs provide invaluable care and they are usually the first point of call when you’re sick or need to access specialist care,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“This fantastic new initiative will give our doctors the extra incentive to train as GPs.”

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said, “The RACGP welcomes this important investment in training the next generation of Queensland’s GPs.

“It will help ensure we can get GPs into communities that need them.”

Premier Steven Miles with local GP Dr Sarah Zatta, RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins and Minister for Health Shannon Fentiman. Photo credit: Annette Dew

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