The Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) provides targeted financial incentives to encourage doctors to deliver services in rural and remote areas. The WIP also provides financial incentives to support general practices to engage the services of nurses, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and Health Workers, and eligible allied health professionals.
From early 2020, general practices and doctors participating in the Practice Nurse Incentive Program (PNIP) and the General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) will automatically transition to the WIP. An up to date rural classification system will be used to ensure metropolitan areas will no longer be able to access incentives intended for rural and remote Australia.
Better targeted incentives will address workforce maldistribution, giving patients in rural and remote areas improved access to quality medical, nursing and eligible allied health services. The WIP aims to strengthen team-based and multi-disciplinary models of care enabling collaborative arrangements to be put in place that will better support community needs. Under the WIP, the GPRIP will transition to the WIP - Doctor Stream and the PNIP will transition to the WIP - Practice Stream.
Implementation of the WIP was deferred from July 2019 until early 2020 to allow practices more time to adjust their business models in response to changes to the geographical classification system.
- WIP - Doctor Stream – 1 January 2020
- WIP - Practice Stream – 1 February 2020.
These dates align with existing payment quarters and allow a smooth transition to the WIP.
The WIP Guidelines set out how the program operates including eligibility, how to apply and how payments are calculated.