The Australian Government has granted approval to the proposal of the New south Wales (NSW) government to extend the single employer model.

This initiative offers a customised and streamlined pathway for doctors who wish to practice as rural generalists during training at private practices of general practitioners (GP) or public health centres.

This will result in more people in rural, regional and remote NSW gaining improved access to regional healthcare facilities.

The model will make it more appealing for junior doctors to pursue rural generalist training while supporting service delivery in general practices and emergency units.

In 2020, the single-employer model was piloted in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) and regional communities found this model helped to retain doctors and tackle widespread doctor shortages, reported ABC News.

Rural generalists are GPs specialising in emergency medicine and primary care services, and have training in further skills such as anaesthetics and obstetrics.

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These capabilities enable GPs to have the exact skills for working in rural regions and deal with the individual requirements of rural, remote and regional communities.

Australian Health Minister Mark Butler said: “The single employer model is an innovative approach and will help to attract and retain the doctors we need to provide essential primary healthcare services into the future.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the Minns government on the expansion of this innovative model, including the additional trials we announced in the May 2023 budget.

“We’ve seen the positive impact the Single Employer Model has made to the availability of healthcare services in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.”