The 2014/15 Budget demonstrates the Abbott Government’s commitment to provide new infrastructure funding to rural and regional areas the Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said.
Mr Joyce said the Government would provide $52.5 million to rural and regional areas Australia-wide for practices to build the facilities they need to take on more trainees.
“The Government will provide 175 infrastructure grants of up to $300 000 to successful applicants and require a matched contribution from the practice,” he said.
“This will this improve GP infrastructure, as well as encourage investment in our regional communities.
“Additional funding of $35.4 million will also be made available through the General Practice Rural Incentives Programme over two years, providing financial incentives to around 13,000 doctors working in regional, rural and remote areas of Australia.
“The Government has already committed $40 million over four years to support extra medical intern places in private hospitals and regional and rural areas. Under this measure, interns began their one year placements in January 2014,” he said.
Mr Joyce said the 2014-15 Budget delivered funding for an extra 300 GPs to be trained each year Australia-wide, boosting GP training places from 1,200 to 1,500 in 2015.
“The Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia,” he said.
“GP training places will continue to rise in number, as we work to reduce the costs of GP training, improve frontline services and cut red tape.
“The Abbott Government is delivering on its commitment to double the Practice Incentive Payment for general practitioners who teach medical students from $100 to $200 per session.”