Fee for service information for medical practitioners contracted by regional local health networks

All medical practitioners

The following resources contain information for all medical practitioners, including general practitioners, medical trainees and specialists, contracted by regional local health networks.

General practitioners (GPs) and medical trainees

The following resources contain information for GPs and medical trainees contracted by regional LHNs.

South Australian Rural Medical Fee Agreement (SARMFA) agreements and rates

Other resources and forms

New SARMFA being negotiated

The SARFMA specifies the terms and conditions for contracted GPs delivering services in South Australia’s rural public hospitals and provides the framework for individual contracts between regional LHNs and GPs/GP clinics. The previous 2017 SARFMA for contracted GP services in large rural hospitals and small rural hospitals expired on 30 November 2020.

In March 2020, Australian Medical Association (SA) (AMASA) and Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) were invited to negotiate a new SARFMA with the regional LHNs on behalf of the rural GPs. The Rural Support Service (RSS) is coordinating the negotiations with the AMASA and RDASA on behalf of the regional LHNs.

On 12 March 2021, the AMASA and RDASA presented the RSS with their proposal for the new SARMFA. This proposal was unrealistic based on the regional LHN budgets.

Since then the RSS has been developing an offer to put to the associations that is reasonable for the regional LHNs while also providing appropriate recognition, remuneration and support for the contracted GPs.

On 25 August 2021, the offer was sent to the AMASA and RDASA. The main features of the offer are:

  • There is a new sign-on payment of $2,000 for all GPs currently engaged under the 2017 SARMFA who accept a new contract within three months of it being offered.
  • The offsite sessional rate has been increased to $2,000 excl. GST for 24 hours (an increase of more than 9% on the 2017 rate).
  • There is a new onsite sessional rate ranging from $190/hour to $220/hour excl. GST (similar to the rate paid to locums booked in advance to provide services).
  • The on-call allowance under the FFS payment model is $440 excl. GST from Monday to Thursday (an increase of 34% for small hospitals and 40% for large hospitals compared to 2017) and $880 on weekends and public holidays (an increase of 17% for small hospitals and 25% for large hospitals compared to 2017).
  • There are new provisions enabling contracted GPs to claim $200/hour to undertake mandatory training required by the regional LHN, and $190/hour for attending regional LHN initiated meetings (e.g. committee meetings aimed at clinical safety and quality improvements, accreditation, health service planning and performance, audit and risk management, and development and implementation of models of care). All time spent in preparation, attendance and follow up work is claimable.

The rates in the offer are the limit of what is reasonable at this time. It is hoped that contracted GPs accept the offer as fair and capable of providing a robust and sustainable GP-led health service in our rural hospitals.

For more information email HealthGPAgreement@sa.gov.au


The following resources contain information for specialists contracted by regional LHNs.

Further information

For more information, please contact:

Rural Support Service – Fee for Service Team
PO Box 287 Rundle Mall
Adelaide South Australia 5000
Telephone: 0477 345219
Email:  health.HRSFeeforservice@sa.gov.au