Maps Available to Identify Doctor Shortages
New District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) maps have been launched to identify regions where there are doctor shortages and improve recruitment processes.
Assistant Minister for Health Senator Fiona Nash said theold DWS Maps were no longer accurate and the updated maps provide a more accurate description of where doctor shortages exist.
“We've heard the concerns of rural communities and we're taking action," Minister Nash says. "The new map system has been developed in consultation with doctors and regional communities, and is updated with the latest population and Medicare data. Previously, 2004 data had been used.
“Communities where doctor numbers have not kept pace with population growth will now be recognised in the updated DWS system.
“This means, for example, that communities such as Gladstone (QLD), Mandurah (WA), Manilla (NSW), Emerald (VIC), Koo Wee Rup (VIC) and Murray Bridge (SA) will become DWS areas and will now find it easier to attract doctors."
Minister Nash said that overseas trained and bonded doctors (under the Bonded Medical Places Scheme) already working in a DWS location would not be required to move if that location became non-DWS under the new system.
The Minister said the new DWS system would also provide greater certainty for rural, regional and remote communities.
“DWS determinations will now occur annually, rather than quarterly, giving towns where population levels fluctuate seasonally a greater certainty and stability when planning recruitment,” Minister Nash said.
Information about the updates to the DWS system can be found on the DoctorConnect website.
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