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Boost for rural procedural GPs.

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MEDIA RELEASE Minister for Health and Ageing

Tony Abbott MHR

9 January 2006 ABB001/06

Boost for rural procedural GPs

The Commonwealth Government has decided to double the incentive payments to rural procedural GPs in further recognition of their additional skills and responsibilities.

From February 2006, rural procedural GPs will be entitled to claim up to $15,000 per year under the government’s Practice Incentives Program.

This boost will provide further support to GPs who provide surgical, anaesthetic and obstetric services to rural and remote communities throughout Australia.

This is an important measure for rural communities relying on experienced general practitioners to keep local hospitals running.

At present, almost 800 GPs participate in this incentive program. The increased payments are designed to encourage these GPs to continue to provide procedural services and will cost an additional $5.2 million a year.

Media contact: Kate Miranda, Office of Tony Abbott, 0417 425 227