Up to $70,000 in payments to lure doctors to rural Qld

·2-min read

Tens of thousands of dollars in incentives are on offer to lure interstate and overseas health workers to Queensland in the latest state government attempt to boost public sector staff.

Payments totalling $70,000 are up for grabs for medical practitioners who move to regional or rural areas, and up to $20,000 is available for a range of other health workers who relocate to anywhere in the state.

The announcement by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk came a day after the state flagged incentives to cover relocation costs for interstate and international police officers.

"With global competition for health workers at an all-time high, our government is dedicated to doing everything that we can to attract and retain frontline health workers," Ms Palaszczuk said in Cairns on Wednesday.

Under the scheme, interstate and international healthcare workers who move to Queensland, including the southeast, will receive a $10,000 incentive when they start.

Another $10,000 will be received after a year of work.

Eligible workers include doctors, nurses, specialists, dentists and allied health professionals.

Medical practitioners who move to rural or remote areas will receive an additional $25,000 after three months, then another $25,000 after a year.

This payment is available to those already working in Queensland.

Interstate and international medical practitioners will be eligible for both payments and stand to benefit by an additional $70,000 if they move to Queensland.

The move has been welcomed by the Australian Medical Association of Queensland, and president Maria Boulton said it would help address shortages.

"We have seen far too many general practices close their doors, leaving patients with long drives to the nearest GP," Dr Boulton said in a statement.

"Regional economies depend on our hospitals and health services to create vibrant, liveable towns that entice people to relocate and remain in the district."

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said while he wouldn't stand in the way of moves to attract more staff, the state government should do more to value the people it has.

"If I speak to people about why they are leaving Queensland Health, it's because they've never felt more under stress, they've never felt less valued, so let's fix the culture," he told reporters in Cairns.

Boosting the Queensland Health workforce meant authorities had to "think outside of the square", Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said.

"Innovative policies like this means every dollar works hard for Queenslanders delivering the right care at the right time, in the right place," she said.

"We welcome healthcare workers to experience why we all love Queensland while also making a new life delivering positive results and peace of mind for our regional and remote communities."