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Rural resident

More than 150 non-GP medical specialists live and work across Western Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities.

Rural Health West provides a range of supports to attract and retain resident specialists in rural locations.
Rural Health West maintains a database of resident specialists who work in rural and remote Western Australia in Modified Monash Model locations (MMM) 2 to 7.

Rural Health West defines a resident specialist as one whose primary working situation is in a rural or remote area. Doctors who live in Perth or interstate and do sessional work in a rural or remote location are not included in this dataset.

Rural Health West’s database is updated continuously with intelligence from rural areas and annually through the Rural Health West Resident Specialist Survey.

Together with ongoing data collection strategies, Rural Health West can offer contemporary valid evidence about trends in the resident specialist workforce.

Health Workforce Scholarship Program

The Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health, administered in Western Australia by Rural Health West.

The HWSP provides scholarships and bursaries to help health professionals in remote and rural Australia retain and enhance their skills, capacity and scope of practice. Funding is available to medical, nursing, midwifery, allied health, dental and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals, who provide primary care services in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services sector, private practice or non-government organisations in rural and remote WA.

Funding is available for eligible health professionals to cover:

  • short courses, workshops, online training and conferences;
  • postgraduate studies;
  • training related expenses such as travel and accommodation.

Application rounds are typically held twice per year in March and September. Read more or register your interest to be notified when the next funding round opens.

Partner Education Grants

Partners of Western Australian rural general practitioners, hospital doctors, medical specialists, nurses and midwives can apply for a grant to assist with training and education expenses to enhance their career and employment opportunities whilst living in a rural location. Grants up to $1000 per year are available for partners of rural health professionals to contribute towards

  • Course fees
  • Professional Development such as webinars, online courses, conference registration fees
  • Postgraduate studies
  • Membership to professional associations
  • Training related expenses such as course resources, direct travel and accommodation costs

Read more or download an application form for partner education grants.

Health Professional Networks

Rural Health West has collaborated with key stakeholders to develop regional professional networks to support health professionals working in rural Western Australia. The networks provide opportunities for health professionals to network, upskill and collaborate with others in the region. There are currently four networks operating (see below), with networks to be rolled out to the remaining regions throughout 2021.

WA Rural Health Awards

The WA Rural Health Awards recognise and acknowledge health professionals who have dedicated their careers to caring for rural communities, as well as celebrate the achievements of clinicians who have enhanced the range and quality of medical care available in rural locations.

Since 2008 Rural Health West has proudly hosted the annual WA Rural Health Awards (previously WA Country Doctors Awards) to recognise the outstanding contributions made by health professionals working in rural communities. Since 2017 WA Country Health Service has partnered with Rural Health West to recognise both long service and excellence in rural health care.

Award nominations are typically invited in September, with the Awards hosted as part of the WA Rural Health Conference in March.

For further information about the Awards, visit the WA Rural Health Awards website.