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Rural Programs

Eligibility criteria for participants

Q. Can GPs register in both components of the grants program?
A. Yes, providing they meet the eligibility criteria for both types of grants.

Q. Does a GP have to be a member of either the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) to register in the program?
A. No. Non-college members can register through either college.

Q. Do grants program participants have to be vocationally registered?
A. No.

Q. Is there a minimum amount of time per year a GP locum must complete in rural and remote services to be eligible for a procedural grant?
A. Yes. Locums need to:

  • complete a minimum of 28 days locum work per financial year OR
  • if they complete less days, they need to do a minimum of 8 individual locums per financial year.

So for example, a GP anaesthetist, who does a 1-day anaesthetic locum once a month and thereby completes 12 days in one year , would qualify for the grants. Similarly, a locum who does weekend locums every 5 to 6 weeks and completes 8 locums over a 12 month period, would also be eligible.

Q. Does a GP locum have to be based in RRMA 3-7 to be eligible for the program?
A. No, they can be based in any geographic location, including urban settings. They do need to be able to show, however, that they deliver locums in RRMA 3-7 locations in order to be eligible for registration.

Q. Can GPs access a grant to acquire skills to become credentialed in the disciplines targeted by the grants program?
A. No. Grants are only available for the maintenance or updating of existing skills not the initial acquisition of skills.

Q. Can GP Registrars apply for emergency medicine grants?
A. Only GP Registrars who have completed the curriculum and assessment requirements for a 12 month Advanced Rural Skills Post in emergency medicine and attained independent, unsupervised rights to practise emergency medicine would qualify.

Q. Would a GP who has admitting rights to a hospital without an accident and emergency facility, but who deals with emergencies in the course of admitting and caring for their patients, be eligible for the grants program?
A. No. A GP must be providing emergency services in an accident and emergency facility which is available for 24 hours triaging (hospital or other appropriately equipped facility). In some remote communities, doctors who provided remote triage and retrieval would be eligible.

Q. Are the procedural grants tax-free?
A. Grant payments are not subject to GST or PAYG documentation. However, recipients are encouraged to seek advice from their accountants on the taxation status of this funding.

The Rural Procedural Grants Program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing through its Strengthening Medicare initiatives.