Doctors and nurses could have their university debt wiped if they commit to working in regional, rural or remote settings.
From January next year, the federal government announced it would cover education costs if a doctor or nurse worked at least 24 hours a week for the equivalent of half the length of their degree.
In rural and regional areas, graduates are required to work the same amount of hours for the same duration of their studies to qualify.
Member for Farrer Sussan Ley said the move would provide a real difference to patients in her electorate.
"Short term, it means nearly every local GP practice in Farrer can begin reaching out to new and graduating doctors who want to move to our region and practice here," she said.
"We'll cover 100 per cent of the debt if a new doctor works for at least half of their degree (two or three years) in a more remote council area.
"This is all about implementing a range of policies to get more GPs, nurses and allied health professionals to areas where they are actually needed."
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"I welcome the government's announcement of this incentive scheme for doctors and nurse practitioners, and I look forward to seeing it in action," she said.
"Financial incentives for medical professionals to come to the country and to stay have been trialled in different forms.
"If this scheme proves to be successful with doctors and nurse practitioners, I would like to see it expanded to allied health professionals, who are also in short supply in rural and regional areas.
"This announcement is not a silver bullet but it is a fantastic start."
Finley GP Alam Yoosuff welcomed the ploy to lure doctors and nurses to regional areas, but he believes more is needed.
Dr Yoosuff says giving health graduates debt relief for their university fees if they work beyond capital cities and Albury-Wodonga was a "good idea".
He supervises interns from Wagga hospital when they spend 10 weeks at Finley and says it's clear that graduate debts had risen in his 10 years in that role and it was a bigger issue.
However, Dr Yoosuff would like to see other action taken, such as increasing the time interns spend within GP settings as part of their training.
He believes that would give them a greater feel for the role and the community.
"It would take away from that frightening aspect there is about coming to rural and remote settings," Dr Yoosuff said.
This story first appeared in The Border Mail.
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