31 January 2024

New blood: Victorian Government opens $32m grants program to attract up to 800 more GPs

| Andrew McLaughlin
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The grants program hopes to attract 800 new general practitioners by the end of 2025. Photo: VIC Health.

The Victorian Government has announced a two-year, $32 million grants program aimed at attracting up to 400 new general practitioners a year.

A government statement said 800 grants – 400 in 2024 and 400 in 2025 – each worth $40,000 were now available to medical graduates who began a general practice training program in Victoria.

It said the program came after a recent survey that found the number of final-year medical students looking to go into general practice had fallen to just 13 per cent. But encouragingly, GP colleges have seen an increase in enrolments for 2024.

The government said that, if the demand for the grants exceeded 800, priority would likely be given to Australian citizens, Australian medical graduates, doctors training in rural locations, and areas of workforce need.

Graduates can apply for grants through the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) or the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) once they have been accepted and enrolled into a relevant GP training program.

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Eligible GP training courses include the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, Fellowship Support Program (FSP), Independent Pathway, Practice Experience Program (PEP) – Specialist Stream, the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) and the Rural Generalist Training Scheme (RGTS).

Applicant must also meet relevant citizenship, visa, qualification, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) registration and the relevant training requirements to enter a GP training program.

Victorian Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas said Victorians had built trusted relationships with their GPs, but too many people could not get in to see a GP when they needed one.

“That’s why we’re once again stepping in to support more graduates to become GPs so all Victorians can get the primary care they need,” she said.

“These grants are providing the incentive graduates need to consider a career in general practice and will ensure Victoria has the GP workforce we need both now and into the future.”

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