Rural Medical Workforce Plan

Front cover of the rural medical workforce planIn December 2019, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, the Hon. Stephen Wade MLC, released South Australia’s Rural Medical Workforce Plan.

The Rural Medical Workforce Plan has been prepared to meet the Government’s commitment to develop and implement ‘a plan to recruit, train and develop the health professionals... needed to deliver country health services’, as outlined in the Government’s Rural Health Workforce Strategy 2018 election commitment.

This plan has been developed under the leadership of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy Steering Committee. The initial priority for the steering committee was the development of a medical workforce plan for rural South Australia, with corresponding plans to be prepared for the South Australian Ambulance Service, nursing and midwifery, and allied health professional workforces, as well as additional future focuses on the Aboriginal health workforce and the volunteers that support rural health care.

On 31 July 2019, a consultation draft of the Rural Medical Workforce Plan was publicly released, with feedback sought from all interested community members, clinicians and stakeholders in rural health. A program of in-person consultation sessions was held across all regional and metropolitan local health networks, led by Dr Hendrika Meyer, Chief Clinical Advisor, Rural Support Service, and Chairperson, Rural Health Workforce Strategy Steering Committee. In addition, 49 written submissions were received, with all feedback considered in the final preparation of the plan.

South Australia’s Rural Medical Workforce Plan aims to ensure a sustainable rural medical workforce through the delivery of the following objectives:

  • Theme one – Building a skilled workforce
    • Objective 1a - Expand medical training pathways in regional and rural South Australia
    • Objective 1b - Increase the number of doctors entering rural medical training and practice
  • Theme two – New and sustainable models for rural health care
    • Objective 2a - Develop sustainable models of rural medical care
    • Objective 2b - Increase support to rural general practitioners
    • Objective 2c - Increase integrated multidisciplinary clinical services
  • Theme three – Developing a collaborative and coordinated health system
    • Objective 3a - Share the responsibility for rural health across the state
    • Objective 3b - Collaborate to support the sustainability of the rural workforce

The process to implement these objectives will be critical to the success of this plan. Implementation will be undertaken using the consultative and collaborative approach demonstrated throughout the development of the plan, with all strategies to be delivered under the local leadership of regional local health networks and in partnership with rural clinicians.

For more information, please contact Dr Robyn Anderson on (08) 8226 7192 or at

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