Health Workforce Scholarship Program

This page contains information on Health Workforce Scholarships

Page last updated: 28 June 2017

On 27 June 2017, Assistant Minister Gillespie announced that the Health Workforce Scholarship Program (HWSP) will be delivered by a consortium of Rural Workforce Agencies (RWA’s), led by Health Workforce Queensland.

The RWA consortium includes:

NSW Rural Doctors Network
Rural Workforce Agency Victoria
HR+ Tasmania
Rural Doctors Workforce Agency of South Australia
Rural Health West
Northern Territory Primary Health Network
Health Workforce Queensland.

The 2015-16 Budget Measure, Streamlining Health Workforce Scholarships announced the development of a new scholarship program to better target financial support to health professionals working in communities most in need. The HWSP will consolidate existing scholarship programs into a single program with a single administrator, and create consistency in the rules and obligations for participants.

Through the HWSP, the Government is investing $11 million over three years from 2017-18 to increase access to health services in rural and remote areas experiencing skill shortages through the provision of scholarships and bursaries to increase the skills, capacity and/or scope of practice of health professionals (including doctors, nurses and the allied health professionals) committed to rural service. A rural return of service obligation of one year will be attached to some higher value scholarships to provide a greater return on investment.

Support may be directed to health professionals already working in areas experiencing a shortage of services, or to those who are willing to provide services in areas of shortage following the completion of their further training or post-graduate studies. Financial support will make upskilling and capacity building training more accessible and attractive to health professionals who are already working in areas that are experiencing lack of services, and will bring professional costs more in line with their urban counterparts.

The RWA’s will be working closely with Primary Health Networks, local and state governments and other workforce planning groups to determine what skills are needed and where. More information on the HWSP will be available through the RWA’s soon.

Consistent with the Government’s election commitment, scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce will continue in their current form.

Stakeholder Consultation

Consultation with stakeholders was conducted by the Department. Information about the consultation process can be found on the consultation page.