Recruiting, retaining and supporting General Practitioners (GPs), Nurses and Allied Health Professionals in rural New South Wales, Australia

Easy Entry Gracious Exit

The NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) works with rural NSW communities and key stakeholders to develop sustainable medical practices that will attract and retain doctors. One of the means by which RDN supports this goal is through directly and indirectly testing new, non-traditional models of medical service delivery, including the innovative Easy Entry, Gracious Exit model through the Rural and Remote Medical Services Ltd (RaRMS).

RDN established RaRMS as a not-for-profit company to overcome a multitude of barriers in remote communities that were experiencing a chronic shortage of GPs and which had reached crisis point. The innovative Easy Entry, Gracious Exit model of medical service provision evolved as a successful approach, initially in Walgett and Lightning Ridge. The primary objective was to improve health outcomes in these towns, initially by increasing the number of GPs and thereby improving medical services.

Since 2001 RaRMS has succeeded in attracting and retaining doctors in remote New South Wales, and in facilitating a greatly expanded range of medical, nursing and allied health services available from its surgeries. In recent years RaRMS has expanded its operations into a wider range of rural NSW communities and from late 2014 the governance structure of RaRMS was changed to formally separate it from RDN. Both RDN and RaRMS continue to work closely to pursue opportunities to develop and maintain sustainable medical practices in rural and remote NSW communities.