Where to next for rural general practice policy and research in Australia?

Lucie K Walters, Matthew R McGrail, Dean B Carson, Belinda G O'Sullivan, Deborah J Russell, Roger P Strasser, Richard B Hays and Max Kamien
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00216
Published online: 17 July 2017

The available evidence from the past 20 years of government interventions can inform future priorities

Australia is in a critical period of rural workforce policy reform. The Australian government is responding to a surge of domestic and international doctors, while addressing the pervasive problem of geographic and specialty maldistribution.1 There is renewed commitment to strengthen rural health policy and further develop a well skilled, adaptable rural general practitioner workforce. GPs underpin resilient, healthy rural and remote communities and are essential for a coordinated and efficient health system.2 This article seeks to inform future directions and research priorities by reflecting on 20 years of policy activity and outcomes.

  • Lucie K Walters1
  • Matthew R McGrail2
  • Dean B Carson3
  • Belinda G O'Sullivan2
  • Deborah J Russell2
  • Roger P Strasser4
  • Richard B Hays5
  • Max Kamien6

  • 1 Flinders University Rural Clinical School, Mt Gambier, SA
  • 2 School of Rural Health, Monash University, Churchill, VIC
  • 3 Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT
  • 4 Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Laurentian University and Lakehead University, Sudbury, Canada
  • 5 Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University, Mt Isa, QLD
  • 6 University of Western Australia, Perth, WA

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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