NSW Inquiry reviewing progress in regional NSW

Last week the Select Committee on Remote, Rural and Regional Health announced a public inquiry to review the implementation of the 2022 Portfolio Committee recommendations relating to workforce issues, workplace culture and funding considerations for remote, rural and regional health. ASMOF NSW intends to make a submission to this review. 

In 2022 the Legislative Council (LC) Committee report found that residents of rural, regional and remote NSW have poorer health outcomes than their metropolitan counterparts, making 44 recommendations to the NSW Government to address these issues.  

Dr. Joe McGirr MP, the Committee Chair, emphasised the significance of enhancing the workforce in regional health and bolstering funding for programs and services as essential steps to address the prevalent subpar patient outcomes in remote, rural, and regional health services across the state. 

The 2023 Review will assess the implementation of 20 of those recommendations, specifically focusing on solutions to improve staffing, workplace culture and funding for health services in regional NSW.  

Key recommendations made to NSW Health include: 

  • NSW Health works with the Australian Government and the Primary Health Networks to fast-track a single employer model for GP trainees across rural, regional, and remote New South Wales. 
  • That NSW Health review working conditions, contracts and incentives of GPs working as Visiting Medical Officers in rural, regional, and remote New South Wales public health facilities to ensure that the GP/VMO model remains viable while broader innovation and reform progress. 
  • That NSW Health reviews the current employment arrangements and remuneration structure for trainee doctors to align rural trainees' remuneration and incentives with those provided to metropolitan students travelling for rural training. 

The deadline for submissions is Friday, 22 September 2023.  
Should you wish to offer feedback to ASMOF to inform our submission, please email [email protected], using the subject line "Regional NSW Inquiry”, by 15 September 2023.