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Distribution Priority Areas (DPA)

The Distribution Priority Area (DPA) is calculated and applied by the Department of Health (DOH) to catchment areas (locations) to promote equity in healthcare.

Holding DPA status indicates that your catchment area may have a shortage of doctors/health services compared to the annual DOH benchmarks, which are based on population health data.

Clinics with DPA status can recruit from a larger pool of doctors. DPA methodology and data can be found on the Department of Health website.

The new DPA review Process Is almost ready to go

A DPA review was recently announced, named the “Exceptional Circumstance Review for DPA”. The review is designed to help regional and rural areas respond to unforeseen workforce and population changes which may be impacting access to local health services.

The first step is to engage with and obtain support from, the Rural Workforce Agency (RWA) in their state or territory where DPA status is being reviewed. In Victoria, RWAV is finalising the review process, in line with the DOH review principles. Once finalised by the end of October 2021, Victorians will be able to submit their DPA status reviews to RWAV.

Please note the final decision on an area’s DPA status is made by the Federal Health Minister.


If you are in Victoria, please get in touch with us now.

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