Government Plans To Lure Doctors To Country WA
Plans for recruiting more doctors to the bush have been detailed by the State Government, which is allocating $183 million from the Royalties for Regions Programme for hiring 44 general practitioners, for working in the Mid West and Great Southern.
Kim Hames, the Health Minister explains that the critical shortage of doctors in the country has prompted the move, with teh government very actively recruiting doctors overseas and within Australia, from wherever they could be found, he said.
Hames said the on-call rates for doctors would be increased significantly, ensuring they were the highest on-call rates paid in Australia. He said having seen the gap in the operating of the system, they believed they had found a way of fixing it.
According to Hames, hospitals needed to be properly covered after hours and staffed with doctors on-call 24 hours a day, in the central parts of all the regions.
It is hoped the big cash incentives and other perks being dangled under the doctors’ noses will lead to success in luring 44 of them Perth, interstate and worldwide, to country WA.
Hames said the cash incentives to those recruited under the $182.9 million plan could be ‘could be worth tens of thousands of dollars’, with the State Government using its money rather than relying on funding from the Commonwealth, to hire doctors for the bush.
The worldwide recruitment drive will be launched this month by the WA Country Health Service, with the extra funding coming from Royalties for Regions funds expected to reach $1.2 billion this year.
Dr Hames revealing details of the upgrades, said just over $31 million will be spent on Northam Hospital, Narrogin will get $39.86 million, Merredin, $17.45 million, Katanning, $35.43 million, Manjimup, $14.86 million and Collie, $8.63 million.
Tele-conferencing and specialist facilities will also be provided to them.
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