What is the Workforce Incentive Program – Doctor Stream?

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Please note that starting from 1 January 2024, Non-VR doctors, who are not on any approved training program and who are working in a MMM3-7 location, will obtain 80% of the value of WIP – Doctor Stream payments.

What is it?

The ‘Doctor Stream’ gives financial incentives to medical practitioners working in eligible rural and remote areas. This program has also replaced the General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) in 2020.

As part of the 2018-19 Stronger Rural Health Strategy Initiative, The Workforce Incentive Program, was launched on 1 January 2020. Created to encourage medical practitioners to work in rural and remote areas of Australia, this program applies to the updated 2019 MM3-7 locations. Financial incentives range from $0 to $60,000 based on MMM classification and years of active service in the location.

How does it work?

There are 2 systems to be used in receiving these financial incentives:

Incentives are based on the number of active quarters, MM classification, how long a doctor has been part of the program and, from 1 January 2024, a doctor’s vocational registration status.

Am I eligible?

The eligibility criteria for the Doctor Stream is that you must:

  • provide a minimum amount of eligible primary care services or undertake eligible General Practitioner (GP) or Rural Generalist training under an approved training pathway in MM 3 to 7 locations
  • meet the required number of active quarters for payment
  • have an eligible current Medicare provider number
  • have provided current bank account details to Services Australia specifically for the WIP Doctor Stream through the Health Professional Online Service (HPOS).

How much can I get?

You can receive $3,600 and $48,000 annually depending on the location and year level.

Here are visual tables for you to check how much you can get every year:

  • For eligible Non-VR doctors not on an approved training pathway, here is a summary of the financial incentives 1 January 2024:

  • For eligible VR doctors, here is a summary of the financial incentives 1 January 2024:

What are active quarters?

Aside from the location and year level, your activity or active quarters determine how much you can receive as incentives. Your quarter becomes active if you meet the minimum quarterly activity threshold:

  • Central Payment System (CPS)
    • Minimum: $6,000 of eligible primary care services billed under the MBS
    • Maximum: $30,000

  • Flexible Payment System (FPS)
    • Minimum: 21 sessions for 3 hours or more each
    • Maximum 104 sessions

For CPS, the eligible primary care services billed under the MBS are the following:

  • Category 1: Professional attendances.
  • Category 2: Diagnostic procedures and investigations.
  • Category 3: Therapeutic procedures.
  • Category 7: Cleft lip and cleft palate services.

Please note that eligible services are based on the doctor’s physical practice location or outreach location, not the patient location.

How do I apply?

To apply for the Workforce Incentive Program – Doctor Stream, you must apply under the Flexible Payment System (FPS).

In applying for a payment through the FPS, you must complete the FPS application form and submit it to the Rural Workforce Agency (RWA) in the state or territory where you provided most of your services or did your training. The application must be done through FPS regardless of whether the services were MBS billed, and must include all time spent providing WIP – Doctor Stream eligible services.

For participants under an approved training program, make sure that you fill up the relevant section to verify your training sessions.

You can see the FPS application form and more details about the FPS application guide here.

All FPS applications must be given to the relevant RWA:

  • Northern Territory: Northern Territory Primary Health Network

Note: The information presented above has been gathered from the Department of Health and Aged Care website and has been updated as of 2023-10-24.

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We Can Help You

Here at People Medical Consulting, we have a passion for guiding medical practitioners through their career pathways to Australia. We have extensive experience in assisting medical facilities in recruiting doctors from local and overseas who will best suit their requirements.

We provide Document Assistance for those requiring support for their PESCI with IME, ACRRM or RACGP, registration and all other mandatory AHPRA requirements, fellowship program related forms and letters, application for Medicare provider and prescriber numbers, application for 19AB or 19AA exemptions and preparation of employment documents.

If you’re looking for assistance, contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au and we would be glad to help you.

Information from this blog has been taken directly from:

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