Support available for rural shires and communities

Rural Health West works closely with many Shires throughout Western Australia to help attract and retain general practitioners and other health professionals in the town.

About Rural Health West-Supporting country WA-2-icon

We can help shire-run and shire-supported general practices in a range of ways, including recruitment, sourcing locums, providing orientations for new staff, sustainability and viability studies, and developing unique solutions to local health workforce issues.

Use the quick links below to access the service you need or find out more about these services below.

Attracting and recruiting medical and health staff

Our recruitment service is available free-of-charge to help attract general practitioners, practice nurses and practice staff to work at the local practice. Our recruitment service includes:WA Rural Communities-Wheatbelt-Dr Raj Ramakrishna-Corrigin-

  • Help to identify core role requirements
  • Position promoted on Rural Health West vacancies website
  • Initial screening and assessment of clients against position requirements
  • Liaison between candidates and practice to arrange interviews and contracts

The Rural Health West vacancies webpage is viewed by up to 2,000 job-seekers each month. We also advertise in industry publications such as Australian Doctor and Medical Forum and overseas to promote the benefits of working in rural Western Australia. 

Our experienced recruitment staff will work with your practice to identify potential candidates and can assist in short-listing for interview. Our staff provide case-management support to candidates who are located overseas and need support to work in Western Australia. 

Is your local GP taking leave? We can help find a locum

Rural Health West is able to help find locum doctors for your practice to ensure your resident general practitioner can take leave and attend training. We can also organise travel and accommodation for the locum, manage employment contracts and credentialing at the local hospital (if required), and may be able to provide financial assistance.

Helping new staff hit the ground running

orientationA good orientation is critical to helping new staff settle into their roles, particularly if they are new to the Australian medical system. 

Rural Health West can provide comprehensive orientations to general practitioners and nursing and allied health staff. These orientations are customised to the needs of the new staff, but typically cover:

  • The Australian healthcare system, the Medicare Benefits Schedule and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule
  • Cultural safety and communication
  • Legislative and professional practices.

Orientations are available to all GPs who are new to rural Western Australia.

Providing workforce solutions and trouble-shooting

Many rural communities do not have a large enough population to attract a fulltime general practitioner in town. Rural Health West has experience in finding alternative ways to ensure these communities have access to essential primary healthcare. In 2012, we worked with a number of shires in the Eastern Wheatbelt to develop and implement the Eastern Wheatbelt Primary Care Project which helped a general practitioner to service a number of small communities. We can also provide advice and mediate on issues of concern regarding local health matters.

Helping rural practices be viable and sustainable

We have worked with many shires to help improve the sustainability and viability of shire-owned general practices. Our staff can visit the practice and work with practice staff to develop a comprehensive practice report analysing opportunities for income generation, appropriate packages to attract new general practitioners and provide recommendations on how to implement any proposed changes.Practice Assist

Help and advice on practice management

All shire-owned and/or rural general practices can access support and advice regarding practice management from Practice Assist. Practice Assist is a joint initiative of Rural Health West and the WA Primary Health Alliance to strengthen general practices throughout WA through a dedicated phone and email helpdesk, online resource library and professional development and training.