Regional doctor shortages: case studies

DOCTORS have attacked a scheme that offers GPs the same cash incentives to work in tiny country towns as bustling cities. The federal government is under pressure to dump the system because it does nothing to help lure doctors to where they are needed most. Read more about it here.

DUNGOG, NSW: A small town 3.5 hours north of Sydney, Dungog is home to about 3000 people.  Current zoning means a doctor would be paid the same incentives to work in Dungog as major NSW cities like Wagga Wagga, Albury, Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.

CHERBOURG, QLD: A tiny town 3.5 hours north-west of Brisbane, Cherbourg is home to about 1100 people, the majority indigenous. Current zoning means a doctor would be paid the same or even less incentives to work in Cherbourg as major Queensland cities like Cairns, Toowoomba and Townsville.

CASTLEMAINE, VIC: A modest town about 1.5 hours north-west of Melbourne, Castlemaine has a population of about 8000. Current zoning means a doctor would be paid the same incentives to work in Castlemaine as major Victorian and Tasmanian cities like Ballarat, Bendigo, Hobart and Launceston.