Calls for inquiry on rural incentives system

PRESSURE is mounting on the health department to release a report into the controversial classification system used to determine incentives for GPs working in rural and remote areas.

The Coalition is now considering the merits of calling for a Senate inquiry. 

The Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Area (ASGC-RA) system, which replaced the Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Areas (RRMA) index has come under continued fire since its launch in July last year.

Doctors groups, led by the RDAA, have argued the new system fails to offer great enough incentives and supports for doctors to work in small remote and regional towns, which are often ranked in the same bracket as larger, more attractive regional centres, such as Cairns and Townsville.

The AMA last week backed the RDAA’s call for the department to release a University of Adelaide study of the new system, which the doctors groups argue has seen GPs

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