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Huge incentive for GPs to make this move

GPs are set to have HECS debts wiped under a new Tasmanian state government incentive.
GPs are set to have HECS debts wiped under a new Tasmanian state government incentive.

General practitioners willing to make the move to rural Tasmania will receive a $100,000 allowance as part of the state government’s $4m push to attract health professionals to the state.

The Liberal state government has also pledged to wipe HECS debts of up to a maximum of $100,000 for doctors who agree to work in outer urban areas across Tasmania.

The HECS assistance will work separately to the already existing federal government scheme that relieves eligible GPSs of 100 per cent of their HECS debt and will assist doctors who do not meet the federal requirements.

Launceston on the Tamar River
To be eligible, GPs must relocate to remote or rural areas of the state. Picture: Supplied

The package will include a $100,000 allowance that will be spread across the five years, with 10 per cent paid at the end of the first year, 20 per cent at the end of the second year, 30 per cent at the end of the third and 40 per cent at the end of the fourth year.

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The government hopes the initiative will help fill 40 positions throughout Tasmania’s rural and regional communities.

Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing Minister Guy Barnett said the initiative was purposely designed to attract new GPs to the state.

“We are making record investments across all major hospitals, employing more frontline healthcare workers and making steady progress to ending ramping – but we know that attracting more GPs here is critical to supporting this work, especially in our regions,” he said.

“I am confident that this significant incentive will begin to quickly attract GPs to our rural and regional communities, with Tasmanians to benefit as a result.

GPs will receive a $100,000 allowance and will have their HECS debts wiped under the new initiative.
GPs will receive a $100,000 allowance and will have their HECS debts wiped under the new initiative.

“This is another part of our GP Guarantee – with our commitment to also provide multi-year funding to outer-urban, regional and rural Tasmanian GP clinics and our GP NOW Rapid Response Team, both set to begin shortly.”

Final guidelines on how to apply and the specific areas the program will apply to will be released by August 1.

In a similar initiative, the Queensland state government offers $70,000 to GPs willing to relocate from Brisbane to rural or remote communities across the state.