Meeting the business support needs of rural and remote general practice

Meeting the business support needs of rural and remote general practice Conference Paper

11th National Rural Health Conference: Rural and remote Australia: the heart of a healthy nation

  • Author(s): Kelli Porter, Lawrence Donaldson
  • Published: 2011

Abstract: The Business Support Pilot Program commenced in 2009, resulting from an initiative of the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) and Rural Health Workforce Australia (RHWA). The program aimed to provide business support services to rural and remote general practices in Australia. Support was provided in a range of areas including governance, finance, business systems and personnel management. It was anticipated that providing business support through this pilot project to general practices in country Australia would support operational processes and therefore facilitate recruitment and retention of general practice staff. There is documented Australian and international evidence that the viability of rural and remote general practice rests not only upon such factors as financial incentives and rural training but also upon issues to do with the business and human resource management of rural practices. Enhancement of both rural workforce recruitment and retention initiatives can be achieved through systemic measures which support and sustain practice viability. While the literature on the contribution of business support to the sustainability of rural and remote general practice is sparse, data exists to suggest that the dynamics of the practice business are fundamentally altered in a rural and remote context. Practising medicine in rural areas is influenced by community expectation where practices are required to provide services regardless of profitability and without due recognition of the personal costs to the individual general practitioner.

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Suggested Citation
Kelli Porter, Lawrence Donaldson, 2011, Meeting the business support needs of rural and remote general practice, Conference Paper, viewed 05 December 2023,

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