A small town of just 619 people is offering an $800,000 job – including paying zero rent for an ‘executive’ house – to one lucky Australian
- The small town of Wheatbelt is offering $800,000 for a new GP
- Quairading also offers a four bed house rent free
- It is the latest Wheatbelt town to struggle to find a GP
A small town desperate to locate a doctor has offered anyone willing to take the job nearly $1 million in annual salaries and a four-bedroom house, rent-free.
Quairading, in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region, is a two-hour drive east of Perth, but the rural town has been struggling for months to find a permanent GP.
A desperate city council assured it would cover all operating and staffing costs for the right candidate practice, meaning the doctor could earn more than $800,000 in total billing.
There are additional government incentives to stay in the job including up to $12,000 per year if they stay for more than two years and $23,000 if they stay longer than five years.
The incentive targets qualified doctors to find work in rural areas and the amount paid is related to how isolated and small the doctor’s practice is in the city.
The Quairading Shire (pictured, Shire Hall), east Perth, is offering an $800,000 salary and four-bedroom house rent-free in a desperate plea to hire a GP for the town of 619.
The rural town is one of many small towns in the Whitpelt region struggling to find a GP as neighboring Toodyay was forced to close its medical office last year (pictured, Quairading)
The town has a population of just 619 and is the latest in a long line of communities across Australia struggling to find a doctor.
Australia is in the grip of a national general practitioner shortage, which has forced some cities to close the doors of medical centres.
A town northwest of Quairading, Toodyay, had to close its doctor’s office in November last year because the town couldn’t find any GPs to keep it open.
Quairading Shire Chair Peter Smith said: “The council will not stand by when the community has such a dire need.” the West.
“If we don’t have a doctor, we won’t have a medical clinic, then we won’t have a hospital, we won’t have a chemist, and so it will start to fade away.”
Shire said it would publish the job offer in Western Australian medical publications next week before extending it to publications on the east coast if it failed to gain any interest.
Only 14 per cent of Australian medical students seek to specialize as a general practitioner, and only 4.5 per cent of students aspire to work in a small town.
Rural towns trying to attract the doctors needed to handle housing, education and childcare are working with a GP partner to attract potential candidates, warned Dr Ramya Raman, chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.
Dr Ramya Raman called on Australia to support rural doctors
“Supporting junior physicians to have this opportunity to experience general practice as a career option[is important],” she told the publication.
Plus, fast track entry for international doctors.
“The other side of it is working closely with the communities to try to boost retention of these physicians.”
Shadow state health minister Libby Meetam has called on the state government – led by Premier Mark McGowan – to provide incentives for doctors to practice in rural towns.
“These concerns are bolstered by the most recent numbers indicating that we have a lower than average number of MDs per capita and the lowest rate in remote Washington state,” Mietam said.
“This is a major health concern and has implications for our hospital system when not addressed, as well as the economic development of our regions.”
Quairading GP job offer
An annual salary of about $800,000 to become the only general practitioner in a town of just 619 residents
– Complimentary accommodation in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom “executive” family home as part of the package
– Quairading Shire will cover all operating and staff costs, leaving the successful candidate with approximately $800,000 in gross bills
Government incentives of up to $12,000 per year if they stay more than two years, jumping to $23,000 if they stay longer than five years