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Rural GP Locum Program

The RDWA’s GP Locum Program aims to support the retention of resident GPs in rural South Australia (SA) by providing or subsidising the cost of locum doctors who deliver medical services while the resident GP is on leave.

The GP Locum Program comprises:

  • GP Locum placements
  • GP Procedural Locum placements
  • Subsidy for privately arranged locum placements.

Placements and subsidies are provided within the available workforce and program funds.

Locum travel and accommodation costs for placements are met by the RDWA, and there is a travel contribution available as part of the subsidy for privately arranged locum placements.

Medicare billings generated in the practice and through the provision of non-admitted after-hours services by the locum are assigned to the resident GP. Where a GP is in receipt of a fully funded placement, the on-call allowance and fee for service (generated through provision of public inpatient services) will not be payable by Country Health SA Local Health Network (CHSALHN).

GPs who are determined eligible for locum placements or subsidies must advise the RDWA if their circumstances change in order that the RDWA can review eligibility. GP Registrars are not counted in the number of GPs in the practice or the town. GP Registrars are not eligible to apply for the RDWA GP Locum Program.

From time to time there are exceptional circumstances that significantly disrupt the provision of medical services in rural communities. The RDWA may be able to provide assistance and support, and we ask that you speak with us to enable us to determine what level of support is possible.

GP Locum placements

Resident GPs who provide more than seven sessions per week of general practice to their local communities and who have been living and working for 12 consecutive months in an ASGS-RA 2 to 5 areas are eligible to apply for GP locum placements.

Eligibility for GP Locum placements is determined by the RDWA for individual GPs on the basis of the number of doctors in the practice, the number of practices in the town and the arrangements for the emergency on call service for the local public hospital.  Emergency rosters for public hospitals vary, and each GP’s specific situation will be considered when they apply for a placement.

The categories of eligibility are:

  • Category A: a GP who is the sole GP in a town providing medical services to the local community through private general practice and providing on call emergency services to the local public hospital. GPs determined as Category A may request locum placements after six months consecutive service in the location.
  • Category B: a GP working in a town where two GPs provide medical services to the local community through private general practice and provide on call emergency services to the local public hospital
  • Category C: a GP working in a town where three or four GPs provide medical services to the local community through private general practice and provide on call emergency services to the local public hospital
  • Category D: a GP who meets the eligibility criteria and who does not meet the conditions for Category A, B or C

Eligibility for placement by category for each financial year is:

  • Category A: the option for up to 10 placement weeks or seven placement weeks and six placement weekends (or an alternative combination). GPs determined as Category A can apply for a placement after working in that location for six months.
  • Category B: up to four placement weeks
  • Category C: up to three placement weeks
  • Category D: up to two placement weeks. The resident GP pays $3,000 toward the cost of each placement week, and is entitled to claim emergency on-call and inpatient fee for service payments in accordance with SARMFA.

GP Procedural Locum Placements

Eligibility for the Procedural GP Locum Program is determined by location. The location is determined eligible where one, two or three resident Procedural GPs’ usual availability is such that a minimum commitment of one night in three is required to maintain a complete 365 day procedural on-call roster for public obstetrics and/or anaesthetics and is within SA’s ASGS RA2-5. 

The location will be eligible to receive six weeks procedural locum support in each finical year for the applicable procedural roster. In the instance where there is only one GP providing both obstetrics and anaesthetics at the eligible location the total eligibility will be capped at six weeks per financial year. Determination of eligibility in exceptional circumstances will be referred to the Chief Medical Advisory, CHSALHN, for consideration.

The six weeks procedural locum support will be distributed evenly between the participating GP proceduralists who form the complete local roster. 

The GP must reside within SA’s ASGS-RA 2-5, provide at least seven private rural GP sessions per week and have been participating in the relevant on-call roster for at least 12 consecutive months.

Location eligibility is reviewed regularly throughout the financial year.

Medical practitioners eligible for GP Locum placements will be able to convert their existing eligibility from a non-procedural locum to an appropriately skilled procedural locum.

Locum subsidy for privately arranged locum placements

The Locum Subsidy for privately arranged locum placements when the resident rural GP is on leave provides up to $500 a day toward the cost of the locum and a contribution toward the cost of travel.

Rural GPs who have been living and working for 12 consecutive months in SA’s ASGS-RA 2 to 5 and are eligible to apply for Locum Subsidy. GPs do not have to work more than seven sessions per week.

The subsidy can be applied for as individual or blocks of days, to a maximum of 10 days in a financial year. GPs must apply for the subsidy at least two weeks before the privately arranged locum placement and submit the claim form evidence of payment (tax receipt) within two weeks of the completion of the placement.

Contact

Locum Services
P: 08 8234 8277
E: LocumServices@ruraldoc.com.au