Rural Medical Workforce Plan

On 31 July 2019, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, the Hon. Stephen Wade MLC, released the Consultation Draft of the Rural Medical Workforce Plan (PDF 1MB).

The draft plan outlines the strategies intended to form South Australia’s Rural Medical Workforce Plan. It was prepared to help meet the Government’s commitment to develop ‘a plan to recruit, train and develop the health professionals ... needed to deliver country health services’, as outlined in the Government’s March 2018 ‘Rural Health Workforce Strategy’ election commitment. The draft plan was developed under the leadership of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy Steering Committee, chaired by Dr Hendrika Meyer.

The process to develop the draft plan has included an extensive data collection and stakeholder consultation process, culminating in the important workshop ‘The Future’s In Your Hands’, held on 9 May 2019. This workshop allowed key stakeholders, clinicians and health service leads to provide their recommendations on ensuring a sustainable future rural medical workforce. These recommendations have been analysed and form the base of the strategies outlined in the draft plan.

The strategies outlined in the draft plan have been collated into the following themes and objectives:

1. Building a skilled workforce

a. Expand training pathways to meet the minimum required numbers for sustainable rural medical practice

b. Increase the number of doctors entering rural medical training and practice.

2. New and sustainable models for rural health care

a. Develop sustainable models of rural medical care

b. Increase support to rural general practitioners

c. Increase integrated multidisciplinary clinical services

3. Developing a collaborative and coordinated health system

a. Share the responsibility for rural health across the state

b. Work in partnership to support the rural health workforce

Over August and September 2019, there will be a consultation process in each of the six regional local health networks (LHNs), to seek feedback from clinicians, key stakeholders and LHN leads. Feedback is sought on the content of the plan and on the local priorities for action, including the recommended timeframes to deliver the strategies.

Consultation on the draft plan is open until 30 September 2019.

For more information or to provide feedback on the draft plan, please contact Dr Robyn Anderson, Principal Policy Officer, Rural Support Service, on (08) 8226 7192 or at

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