Hunter GP clinics will be granted extra time to recruit much-needed doctors, under an election promise by the Federal Coalition.
The Distribution Priority Area Status will be extended for another 12 months for GP clinics in Cessnock, Singleton, Morisset-Cooranbong and Maitland Local Government areas so they can continue to recruit overseas trained doctors and bonded medical practitioners.
Senator for New South Wales, Perin Davey,said the regions were granted DPA status under an exceptional circumstances review but it was due to expire at the end of June.
“The DPA review gave local GP practices a larger pool of doctors to recruit from – but only a very short period of time to recruit them in,” Senator Davey said.
“This announcement means practices in the Cessnock, Singleton, Morisset-Cooranbong, and Maitland areas don’t have to apply for review again with the DPA classification automatically rolled over for 12 months from 1 July 2022 if the Coalition is returned to Government.”
“The region saw its DPA classification awarded afterseveral medical practices in this area indicated they had been hit by sudden and unexpected changes and unmet demand during the pandemic period and had found it especially difficult to recruit doctors to the area.”
The Liberal and National Government said the DPA status is one way they are to addressing the maldistribution of the medical workforce to encourage doctors under location restrictions to work in regional, rural and remote communities.