More medical students will study at regional universities in an effort to increase the number of doctors in regional Australia.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said educating and training doctors in regional Australia increased the likelihood they would live and work in regional Australia.
"We need more doctors working in regional Australia," Mr Tehan said.
"Our Government is tackling this problem from multiple angles, including the allocation of 60 Commonwealth supported places to study medicine at a regional university from 2021.
"We need flexibility in our higher education system to ensure we get the right medical professionals with the right skills into the regional areas where they are needed most."
A discussion paper released today requests feedback on the best way to establish and implement the pool of medical places with a focus on medical workforce priorities.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Government’s focus on regional and rural medical training is a key part of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy and will see more students undertake training in regional locations.
"The Australian Government is working hard to make sure people have access to high quality healthcare, no matter where they live in Australia," Mr Hunt said.
"We see this as a win for the health of our communities in rural, regional and remote Australia."
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said the Australian Government is already working with a number of universities so more medical students can train in the regions.
"Work is underway to establish the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network in New South Wales and Victoria. This will see the majority of medical training delivered regionally, enabling our students to study locally," Mr Coulton said.
"To support this new network, we’ve committed 32 places to Charles Sturt University to help it establish a new medical school in Orange in NSW, in partnership with Western Sydney University."
Details of the discussion paper can be found at www.education.gov.au/redistribution-pool-medical-places. Comments will be accepted until Friday 25 October 2019.