Workforce

We aim to support GPs and general practices with recruitement and retention strategies to sustain adequate general practice workforce.

We can offer assistance in:

  • GP recruitment and retention strategies including adveritsing for general practice staff on the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN website (must be a financial member of a GP Network/Division organisation)
  • incentive grants for GPs and general practices (PNIP and teaching payments)
  • liaison with the local Regional Training Provider (GP Synergy) and local practices to build the region's capacity to host GP Registrars
  • liaison with local universities and practices to build the region's capacity in hosting medical students on placements in general practice
  • provision of Central and Eastern Sydney PHN information packages for GP Registrars and health professionals.

For more information on Workforce, please email Jan Sadler or phone on 9930 9926.

GP Registrar Support

We are here to support you!

We are currently working to support the general practice workforce in various ways. Our of our initiatives is to support GP Registrars who are on their six month rotation in general practice within our region. If you are a GP Registrar or have a GP Registrar in your practice, we are currently visiting Registrars to familiarise them with the primary health network and its programs and services.

Some of our programs that may be of interest to GP Registrars include:

We can also arrange practice visits on Immunisation, MBS Items, Medical Director, Best Practice, PenCAT, eHealth and Diabetes Management.

Becoming a registered training facility and GP Supervisor

Training practice requirements

To become an accredited training facility, practices are required to meet specific requirements as set out by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and/or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (the latter is only available as an option for rural practices).

For more info or support to come a training practice, please go to GP Synergy or contact the Practice Liaison Officer by email or phone (02) 9819 4433

Medical Student Placements in General Practice

Have you thought about having a Medical Student placement in your practice?

We can support you through this process. We have an information kit for general practices that outlines the following:

  • PIP Teaching Incentive
  • University placement programs in the PHN area
  • Documentation to support you and your medical students when placed in a General Practice including: learning opportunities, orientation, checklist, student planner.

The PIP Teaching Payments help general practices to provide teaching sessions to undergraduate and graduate medical students who are preparing for entry into the Australian medical profession. Quality teaching is important to make sure future GPs are appropriately trained. For each three hour teaching session, the practice will receive $200 and can claim a maximum of two sessions for day.

If you would like more information or a practice visit to help you through this process, please email Jan Sadler (Kogarah office) or phone 9330 9926; or email Catherine Scardilli or phone on 8752 4937.

Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP)

The Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) provides incentive payments to practices to support an expanded and enhanced role for nurses working in general practices.

What does PNIP Support?

Accredited Practices:

  • support for accredited practices to employ an Aborighinal Health Worker instead of, or in addition to a practice nurse (Registered Nurse or Enrolled Nurse)
  • support for practices in urban areas of workforce shortage, Aboriginal Medical Services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to employ an allied health professional, such as a physiotherpaist, dietician or occupational therapist, instead of, or in addition to, a practice nurse and/or Aboriginal Health Worker

Non-Accredited Practices

  • a one off $5000 incentive to support eligible non-accredited practices to become accredited.

What financial incentives are there?

The PNIP will provide incentive payments to eligible practices of:

  • $25,000 per year, per 1000 SWPE where a registered Nurse works at least 12 hours and 40 minutes per week, and 
  • $12,500 per year, per 1000 SWPE where an Enrolled Nurse works at least 12 hours and 40 minutes per week.
  • Incentives will be capped at five per practice, meaning that practices will be able to receive up to $125,000 per year to support their practice nurse workforce. more information on the calculation of payments can be found in the Practice Nurse Incentive Program guidelines.

What is the eligibility criteria?

  • meet the RACGP definition of a 'general practice'
  • be accredited or registered for accreditation against the current RACGP Standards for general practices and be fully accredited within 12 months of joining the PNIP 
  • maintain practice accreditation
  • have current public liability insurance and ensure all practice GPs
  • have current professional indemnity cover
  • ensure that all Practice Nurses, Aboriginal Health Workers and Allied Health Professionals are covered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) or by the professional's registration board
  • employ or otherwise retain the services of eligible Practice Nurses and/or Aboriginal Health Workers and/or Allied Health Professionals
  • employ or retain the services of a GP (including less than one full time GP).

Program guidelines

To make sure that your practice meets all of the ongoing eligiblity requirements, review the PNIP Guidelines. To obtain a copy of the guidelines call the PNIP on 1800 222 032 or go to the Department of Human Services website.

District of workforce shortage

What is District of Workforce Shortage (DWS)?

A district of workforce shortage (DWS) is an area of Australia where the population's need for medical services has not been met. Population needs for medical services are deemed to be unmet if a district has less access to medical services than the national average.

Section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) restricts overseas trained doctors (OTDs) and Foreign Graduates of Accredited Medical Schools (FGAMS) from accessing the Medicare benefits arrangements unless they choose to practice in a DWS for their medical specialty in order to access the Medicare benefits arrangements. All OTDs and FGAMS who first started working as a doctor in Australia after 1996 are subject to section 19AB of the Act.

OTDs and FGAMS may apply for access to the Medicare benefits arrangements for the services they provide within a DWS by submitting a Medicare provider number application form to Medicare Australia.

How is a DWS determined?

The Department of Health (the Department) determines which areas are a DWS for a medical specialty by using Australian Bureau of Statistics population data and the latest Medicare billing statistics for a medical specialty.

In general, a location is deemed to be a DWS for a medical specialty if it falls below the national average for the provision of medical services for the specialty, based on the most recent Medicare billing statistics. DWS classifications are updated by the Department to account for the latest Medicare billing statistics.

Area of Need

The objective of the Area of Need program (the Program) is to assist in the provision of general practice and specialist medical services to locations in NSW that have limited access to such services

The Program assists employers in NSW who are experiencing difficulty recruiting medical registration to recruit suitably qualified international medical graduates (IMGs) to vacant positions that have been approved by the NSW Ministry of Health as an Area of Need.

If a position is declared an Area of Need, the Medical Board of Australia can register a suitable IMG into that position under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) following assessment of the IMG by the relevant Specialty College as suitable for the position and provided they meet all other registration requirements required by the Medical Board of Australia.

The Program is a strategy to provide temporary assistance to locations and services experiencing medical workforce shortages. The priority remains on continued efforts to attract and recruit medical practitioners who have specialist registration to vacancies. 

Appliants should also be familiar with the registration requirements for medical officers in Area of Need positions which can be found by visiting the Medical Board of Australia.

For Employers: click here for Area of Need Applications.

Overseas Trained Doctor (OTD) working in Australia

For Employers: Sponsoring an Overseas Trained Doctor (OTD)

An employer who's sponsoring an overseas training doctor (OTD) to come to Australia, whether as a temporary or a permanent resident, has certain responsibilities.

For information on sponsoring an overseas trained doctor (OTD) visit the DoctorConnect website.

Starting and closing a medical practice

Starting a Medical Practice

The RACGP has worked with general practice owners and builders to develop the Starting a medical practice workbook module. The module includes information regarding practice location, practice design, business structures, financial management, staffing arrangements, quality improvement and risk management systems.

Note: To access Module 4: Starting a medical practice (2012) you will need to have (members only) login details.

Closing a Medical Practice

If you are considering closing a general practice, there are many important decisions to be made - legal regulatory and insurance issues to be dealt with before you require. The RACGP Closing a medical practice workbook covers some of these issues, including transferring medical records to another health provider and staff issues.

Note: To access Module 13: Closing a medical practice (2012) you will need to have (members only) login details.

Doctors' Health Advisory Service (DHAS)

DHAS operates a telephone helpline  and is available to provide personal advice to practitioners and students facing difficulties. DHAS also provide health promotion and educational information through our website and we lecture to interest groups.

The advice is used mostly in relation to stress and mental illness, drug and alcohol problems, or personal and financial difficulties. We answer all types of enquiries whether they're little or more serious.

DHAS believe that all practitioners and students should have their own general practitioners, should not dismiss their own systems and should consult a doctor if they are unwell. They also encourage the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.

For more information, visit the Doctors Health Advisory Service website.

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