GP incentive scheme poorly devised, rural docs say

The scheme, adopted in the 2014–15 budget to provide taxable infrastructure grants of up to $300,000 to match practices’ spending on facilities to expand their training capability, is being touted by government MPs as a leg-up for rural health and investment.

Before applications have opened, however, the program is coming in for criticism as another poorly thought-out health budget measure. 

Rural Doctors’ Association of Western Australia president Dr Mike Eaton said the matching contribution required from rural practices would be too much for them, and the scheme did not take into account the unusually high building costs in areas where support was needed most.

“We’d like to see a better, significant contribution from the federal government towards those costs,” he told the ABC. 

The national Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is continuing discussions with the department of health