Rural health workforce strategy

What we’re doing

A Marshall Liberal Government will address the shortage of health practitioners in country areas by providing $20 million to develop and implement a Rural Health Workforce Plan.

Our Rural Health Workforce Plan will include:

  • a broad services plan for country health services; and
  • a plan to recruit, train and develop the health professionals and skilled volunteers needed to deliver country health services.

Specific measures include:

  • doubling the number of medical interns in the country
  • supporting the recruitment and retention of resident specialists
  • incentivising rural and remote Registered Midwives to undertake training for dual registration
  • strengthening Aboriginal Health Worker and Allied Health Professional training opportunities across rural and remote South Australia.

We will also work with the Commonwealth to maximise training opportunities in the country.

Why we’re doing it

Our country health services are at risk from a shortage of health practitioners, particularly those with advanced skills.

Under Labor, an increasing shortage of health practitioners has left country health services vulnerable to closures and cutbacks. For example, the number of volunteer ambulance officers has fallen significantly making it difficult to fill rosters at some stations.

There are also ongoing challenges in sustaining midwifery services.

While the number of rural GP’s has increased significantly over the last 15 years, fewer General Practitioners have the specialist procedural skills (e.g. anaesthetics, gynaecology) needed to maintain services in the regions.

That’s why we will develop a rural health workforce plan to ensure country health services are sustainable.