Health Minister Mark Butler
Health Minister Mark Butler Allan Reinikka

Govt health boost for regional Aus

NEARLY $18 million will be spent to recruit more than 380 nurses and allied health carers for rural and regional Australia, with 80 for remote New South Wales and 52 for Queensland.

Acting Health Minister Mark Butler announced the funding for several projects to boost rural healthcare, but there was no money allocated in the 2012-13 budget for the project.

Mr Butler said the funding would create a new national recruitment drive for regional areas, hoping to recruit 387 nurses and allied health professionals.

There would also be eight projects launched across the country to create new career pathways for rural general practise doctors, costing about $1.5 million.

Among those was nearly $350 million for projects in Queensland as well as a similar amount for such projects in NSW.

Mr Butler said the Rural Health Professionals Program would aim to recruit overseas workers to fill empty spots for nurses and the allied health sector in regional areas.

The project fitted a similar description for such a program under the Health Workforce Australia's plan for 2012-13, and both projects will be coordinated by HWA.