A Wheatbelt county is pumping up the money and perks to attract a vital doctor to its city.
The Shire of Quairading, some 100 miles east of Perth, is looking for a new GP who will leave in March after a decade-long residency.
On the table for a replacement GP ready to make the move is an annual package worth nearly $1 million.
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The Shire has offered to cover all of the staff and operating costs of running the city’s practice, leaving the doctor with more than $800,000 in estimated gross bills.
Additionally, the GP can also take advantage of the rent-free accommodation in a modern four-bedroom, two-bathroom home and could pocket thousands more if he stays around, thanks to the federal government’s Workforce Incentive Program Doctor Stream.
Quairading Shire President Peter Smith told 7NEWS.com.au the council took a proactive approach to the “critical” position as he feared the hospital, pharmacy and the town’s 1000 residents could be a result would have if the position was not filled.
He said if no doctor was found, residents would be forced to make long journeys to other cities to seek medical attention.
The ad is expected to start running in WA medical publications from next week, with Smith hoping a “rural lifestyle” in a town just a few hours from the WA capital would be an incentive.
“That’s pretty generous. I can say we’ve had positive interest so far,” Smith said.
“We put out feelers and want to have it sewn.”
It’s not the first time a monster deal has been offered to lure workers to rural areas.
In October, a Queensland city offered a staggering $500,000 salary plus rent to attract a new family doctor to settle there. The vacancy was for the farming and mining town of Julia Creek, approximately 400 miles from Townsville.
The remote areas of WA have a notoriously low pool of GPs to rely on.
Ramya Raman, WA chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said more state and federal intervention was needed to strengthen the workforce in regional areas.
“It is important to support young doctors to have the opportunity to explore general medicine as a career option,” said Dr. Raman versus The West Australian. “And also speeding up access for international doctors.
“The other aspect is to work very closely with the communities to try and improve the retention of these doctors.”
https://7news.com.au/news/wa/wa-town-of-quairading-offers-deal-worth-close-to-1-million-to-secure-a-doctor-c-9576027 The Wheatbelt town of Quairading offers a million dollar deal to get a doctor