From 1 July 2016, RWAV assumed the administration of the Rural Medical Workforce Programs on behalf of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (the Department).
The Department have provided funding over a number of years through its Rural Medical Workforce Programs to support recruitment and retention of rural medical practitioners. A clear mandate has been given to ensure that future investment in the Rural Medical Workforce Programs meet the primary objectives of supporting the delivery of healthcare services to address the needs of rural and regional communities within Victoria. These programs have been developed to meet the unique medical workforce profile and context of health care delivery particular to this state.
There is now a requirement to broaden the scope and reach of the programs to ensure that they meet the workforce and health service requirements more generally of rural and regional Victoria in the future.
It is anticipated that the programs will continue to expand to include additional specialty areas (for example, mental health, palliative care and aged care) and increase awareness of the programs to a broader range of medical practitioners such as fellowed rural general practitioners and International Medical Graduate (IMG) doctors already working in rural and regional health services in Victoria.
The successful delivery of these programs will require continued support from local health services working in partnership with RWAV, relevant Colleges and Regional Training Organisations. RWAV has an established track record of strategic medical workforce support in rural and regional Victoria and is uniquely positioned to provide effective oversight and administration of the Rural Medical Workforce Programs.
The purpose of the Rural Medical Workforce Programs is to provide training and skills maintenance pathways to doctors with advanced procedural or speciality skills who will (or currently) work as general practitioners to meet the needs of communities in regional and rural Victoria.
Whilst the major component of their medical practice will be in providing primary care within a rural or regional community general practice setting, these doctors are also able to provide specific advanced procedural or specialty skills within a health service setting, which are aligned with the clinical service requirements of that community.
The Rural Medical Workforce Programs have historically comprised four distinct programs:
Please refer to the Department of Health and Human Services Guidelines below for further information around eligibility.