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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6725


Mr Dutton asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, in writing, on 25 February 2010:

(1)   What incentives are available for General Practitioners to relocate to GP Super Clinics.

(2)   As at 25 February 2010, how many:

(a)   General Practitioners had claimed incentives to relocate to GP Super Clinics;

(b)   overseas trained doctors were working at GP Super Clinics that were not in a recognised District of Workforce Shortage; and

(c)   doctors working in GP Super Clinics not in Districts of Workforce Shortage had been granted an exemption to the Health Insurance Act 1973, section 19AB.

(3)   What were the reason(s) for the exemptions in part (2)(c), and how many other doctors during the same period and in the same Australian Standard Geographic Classification area had been granted an exemption to the Health Insurance Act 1973 section 19AB for the same reason(s).


Ms Roxon (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   The GP Super Clinics Program provides for relocation incentive payments under certain circumstances for specified health professionals relocating during the first 12 months of the GP Super Clinic’s operation. The GP Super Clinics National Program Guide 2008 provides details of the amounts available. Applicants seeking funding to establish a GP Super Clinic were required to identify within their proposals if they intended to use part of the available funding to offer relocation incentives. Where a funding recipient chooses to use part of their grant funding for relocation incentives, they are responsible for offering the incentives and making the payments to the health professional. Depending on where General Practitioners are moving from to take up employment in a GP Super Clinic, they may be eligible for a financial incentive under the Outer Metropolitan Relocation Incentive Grant (OMRIG) program. Moving to a GP Super Clinic does not influence eligibility for the OMRIG program.

(2)  

(a)   As at 25 February 2010, no funding recipient has used GP Super Clinics program funding for relocation incentives.

(b)   Three.

(c)   Three.

(3)   A Preliminary Assessment of District of Workforce Shortage (PADWS) approval can be granted to medical practices that are not located in district of work force shortage (DWS) areas to address special circumstances. In the instance of the three exemptions identified above, a PADWS approval was granted as the clinic involved has a high percentage of patients of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, a substantial proportion of patients from lower socio-economic groups, and which draws patients from surrounding locations that have a DWS classification. A practice that is funded by the Australian Government as a GP Super Clinic is not considered to be a special circumstance in lieu of DWS. As the transition to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification System - Remoteness Areas will not occur until 1 July 2010, data related to the number of exemptions that have been granted according to remoteness area classification is not available.