Minister Nash attended the Rural Medicine Australia Conference to make a major announcement about an overhaul of the classification system which determines incentive payments for the attraction and retention of medical professionals in rural and remote Australia.
As Assistant Minister for Health Senator Nash has responsibility for rural, regional and remote health. Minister Nash has driven changes to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification - Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA) and District of Workforce Shortage systems to make them more responsive to encouraging doctors to work in country towns.
The Government will move toward a new model known as the Modified Monash Model, which will provide more flexibility in the attraction of doctors to ensure areas of need are better serviced by doctors.
The issue with the current system put in place by the previous Labor Government is that it creates some perverse incentives where a doctor in a large regional town can be paid the same incentive as those in a small, rural town. The changes announced on Friday will assist in getting the right doctors with the right skills in the right places.