Teaching, training and retaining the next generation of health workers in rural, regional and remote Australia is a priority for the Coalition Government.
Consistent with this, the Rural General Practice Grants (RGPG) programme has replaced the Rural and Regional Teaching Infrastructure Grants programme with a more streamlined approach to better respond to the needs of rural communities and support the work of rural general practices.
Assistant Minister for Rural Health, Dr David Gillespie, announced the RGPG programme and said it would provide $13.1 million for infrastructure grants for existing general practices in regional, rural and remote Australia.
“General practice in rural Australia faces unique challenges in healthcare including the ability to attract and retain a health workforce,” Dr Gillespie said.
“The RGPG programme will enable existing health facilities to provide teaching and training opportunities for a range of health professionals within the practice and for practitioners to develop experience in training and supervising healthcare workers.
“I believe that strong, accessible primary care in regional Australia helps alleviate pressure on the public hospital system and at the same time it also provides opportunities for earlier intervention and better patient outcomes.”
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said a more streamlined and simplified two-step funding application process had opened through the RGPG programme and would close on 13 December.
“Grants may be used for a range of infrastructure projects, including construction, fit-out and/or renovation of an existing general practice building, supply and installation of information and communication technology equipment or medical equipment,” Senator Scullion said.
Grants of up to $300,000 will be provided to successful applicants in 2017. All successful applicants will be required to match the Commonwealth funding contribution.
“The Coalition Government wants all Territorians to have access to quality health services, no matter where they live,” Senator Scullion said.
Grant documentation is available from the Department of Health’s Tenders and Grants page.