PPA welcomes the announcement made by the Australian Government of the commencement of the Work Incentive Program (WIP) for General Practice which is a component of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy 2018-19 Budget measure. The aim of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy is to build a sustainable, high quality health workforce that is appropriately qualified, distributed across the country according to community need and engaged in multidisciplinary and team-based models of care.
The WIP will provide targeted financial incentives that aim to:
- encourage medical practitioners to deliver services in regional, rural and remote areas, which tend to have more difficulty attracting and retaining medical practitioners; and
- support general practices to engage nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Health Practitioners and allied health professionals in multidisciplinary and team based primary health care across all areas in Australia
Importantly for pharmacy, the definition of “allied health professionals” now includes non-dispensing pharmacists who may undertake a range of activities including medication reviews, patient and staff education, and responding to medicine information queries but not dispensing.
PPA would expect an increase in opportunities for pharmacists to be employed by General practices as a result of this initiative.
Further information can be found at here.