Mar 25, 2022 | Media Releases 2022


Clinics in Glendale, Argenton and Charleston will have more opportunities to recruit doctors following the successful review of the Distribution Priority Area (DPA) status.

The regions are now classified as a Distribution Priority Area following an application to the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s “exceptional circumstances” review.

Senator for New South Wales, Perin Davey, said the successful application for “exceptional circumstances” classification does not guarantee a doctor, but it allows medical practices in the area to recruit subject to location restrictions, such as those who trained overseas.

“This change gives local GP practices a larger pool or doctors to recruit from, which should make it easier for clinics to secure more doctors,” Senator Davey said.

“Students who have accepted a Commonwealth Supported Place in an Australian medical course in return for a commitment to work in a regional, rural and remote area at the end of their studies must also work in a DPA – further increasing the pool.

“Having enough doctors is fundamental to any community and that’s even more true when you live or work in regional places,” Senator Davey said.

Federal Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie said he set up the review process to ensure that an area’s DPA status was based on contemporaneous information, supported vulnerable patient cohorts and was responsive to significant workforce and population changes.

The exceptional circumstances review applications were considered by an independent working group, which made recommendations to Minister Gillespie.

As well as changes to the health workforce or services, the review considers demographics, and more up to date data which was not available at the time of the previous DPA update.

The DPA indicator has been in place for three years, helping prioritise access to doctors for underserviced rural areas.

It is one of many Australian Government initiatives to address the maldistribution of the medical workforce and encourage doctors under location restrictions to work in regional, rural and remote communities.