Introducing a new Rural Support Payment Policy in 2021

WAGPET is continuing to provide GP registrars with financial support for undertaking rural placements.

Since 2002, WAGPET has provided GP registrars with financial support for undertaking rural placements. Currently, the Rural Support Payment provides assistance for the registrar’s cost of training in rural placement on a sliding scale according to their term level and the town which they are placed, based on the Modified Monash Model classification (MMM).

In some instances, the MMM category is not reflective of the town’s greater community needs. The existing policy also does not require registrars to be residing in the rural location; and in some cases, registrars commuting from Perth have been eligible to receive financial support. This was not the intent of the policy.

With this in mind, WAGPET has revised and update the Rural Support Payment Policy, effective Semester 1, 2021. The updated policy leads a more sustainable and equitable model with greater focus on community needs and harder-to-fill areas, one that can be updated as community needs change.

The summary of the updates to the Rural Support Payment Policy are below:

  • The revised policy will be in effect for Semester 1, 2021 onwards.
  • The revised policy retains payments for towns in MMM 3-7 in line with recognition of their rurality by both colleges.
  • In some instances, where MMM is not reflective of the town’s disadvantages, an adjusted MMM has been applied.
  • Incentivised towns with greater community need for registrars and harder-to-fill area. Those residing in an incentivised location will be eligible for double the standard rural support payment.
  • The revised policy allows those registrars living in MMM3 or higher and undertaking an eligible term to access the rural support payment. This will remove the eligibility of registrars who are Drive In Drive Out (DIDO) or Fly In Fly Out (FIFO).
  • Confirmation of the registrar’s primary residence in a rural and/or remote training location will be sought directly from the registrar’s training facility by way of a formal declaration.

Click here to read the new Rural Support Payment Policy.

Frequently asked questions

Q: If I am a FIFO/DIDO registrar, how will I be assessed for eligibility for the rural support payments?
A: The Rural Support Payment Policy is designed to support those registrars living in the rural and/or remote area and with an eligible training term. If you are a FIFO/DIDO registrar, you will be assessed on the amount of time and you are in the country town and payment will be based on your primary place of residence.

Q: If I relocate to a hard-to-fill area in 2021 but for the area is no longer considered hard-to-fill in 2022, will the doubled amount be reduced likewise?
A: No. WAGPET has made a commitment to incentive hard-to-fill locations. If you commit to working in these vulnerable areas, WAGPET will honour the policy.

For more FAQs, visit the WAGPET website here.

If we haven't answered your questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your program training advisor on 08 9473 8200.