- Funding for Southern Inland Health Initiative medical workforce incentives confirmed for 2017-18 and 2018-19
- Program funding was due to expire on June 30, 2017
The McGowan Government has locked in a further two years of funding for the medical workforce incentives component of the Southern Inland Health Initiative (SIHI).
SIHI provides incentives to general practitioners working in southern inland Western Australia to ensure health services are available in rural and remote locations.
Under the former government, Royalties for Regions funding for this program ran out on June 30, 2017.
The McGowan Government will provide a baseline commitment of $33 million per annum for GP incentives, equal to what was provided in 2015-16, in recognition that the Commonwealth now provides additional subsidies for regional GPs and that the program was highly effective at its 2015-16 funding level.
This confirmation of funding will enable the GP incentives to continue to be offered beyond June 30, providing much-needed certainty for regional health services.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The Southern Inland Health Initiative incentives have played a positive role in attracting GPs to regional and remote towns.
"The McGowan Government has provided continuity for regional health services and GPs, and ensured that people in these towns continue to have access to medical care while a full review is being undertaken to provide a sustainable model for funding."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"The SIHI GP incentive program has successfully boosted the total number of GPs recruited in the SIHI region. As at October 2015, there were 133 GPs in the SIHI region, 36 more than before the incentive scheme was in place.
"More than 67 communities in the SIHI area have benefited from an improved four-year retention rate among GPs, with a 59 per cent retention rate in GP incentive towns versus 30 per cent in towns where GP incentives weren't being paid.
"It has also resulted in improved rates of roster coverage for regional hospitals and has been critical in ensuring country hospitals have doctors rostered to cover emergency situations."
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 5700
Health Minister's office - 6552 6500