One hundred additional training places have been allocated to the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) to train more rural generalists.

Nationals Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton said research showed doctors who trained in the bush were more likely to stay and work in the bush at the completion of their training.

“I’m focused on addressing the maldistribution of doctors in the bush, and this announcement further demonstrates the our Government’s commitment to supporting more regional doctor training to better care for our regional, rural and remote communities,” Mr Coulton said.

“Expanding the training will ensure there is pipeline of rural generalists coming through to support a viable and sustainable workforce.

“Regional, rural and remote Australians deserve the same access to high quality health services as those who live in our capital cities.”

The additional 100 places were announced in the 2018-19 Budget as part of the transformational $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy.

The announcement includes funding for an additional 100 GP training places for rural generalists in 2021, and the new allocation builds on ACRRM’s current intake of 150 training places.

“Rural generalists play a key role enabling rural and remote Australians to access health services by providing general practice, emergency care and other specialist services in hospitals and in the community,” Mr Coulton said.

“This broad scope is essential for rural communities that don’t have access to non-GP specialists.”

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners will continue to have an intake of 1350 training places next year, including substantial rural training places and existing positions taken up by rural generalist trainees.