We will soon see an increase in Doctor numbers, on and around Bribie Island, due to a change in classification allowing recruitment from further afield.
The Distribution Priority Area classification change, means clinics on Bribie Island will now be able to recruit from a larger pool of GPs, making it easier to hire new Doctors. This includes GPs who have trained overseas or those under Australia-trained bonded doctors with return of service obligations.
The change came into effect as of January 1, with local practices now able to take advantage and bring new faces in to see patients.
The move has the full support of Member for Longman, Terry Young, who said this would provide a real difference to Bribie patients. “Short term, this means that local practices on Bribie Island can begin reaching out to overseas Doctors who want to move to our region and practice here,” Mr Young said.
A DPA classification identifies locations in Australia with a shortage of Doctors. Usually only rural and remote areas receive automatic DPA status but this has now been changed to include regional and larger rural towns in a bid to get more GPs, nurses and other allied health professionals to the areas where they are needed.
Students who accepted a Commonwealth Supported Place, in an Australian medical course, in return for a commitment to work in a regional, rural and remote area at the end of their studies must also work in a DPA, including Bribie.
The federal government will also invest in a significant incentive for eligible Doctors and nurse practitioners to practice in rural, remote or very remote areas of Australia, by eliminating all or part of their Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) debt subject to meeting eligibility criteria.