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Workforce Incentive Program - Doctor Stream (WIPDS)

The WIPDS is a component of the Stronger Rural Health Strategy 2018-19 Budget measure. The WIP streamlines the existing GP incentive program and aims to encourage, support, and retain medical practitioners in regional, rural and remote communities, and to promote careers in rural medicine through the provision of financial incentives.

The WIP has replaced the General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) as from 1 January 2020. There are two payment systems used for the WIPDS – the CPS and the FPS.

Central Payment System (CPS)

Medical practitioners who bill the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for eligible services receive automated payments made by Services Australia through the CPS. Medical practitioners are only required to provide bank details to Services Australia to access this incentive. After completion of the required number of active quarters for an initial payment, Services Australia will write to the medical practitioner advising that they are eligible for a payment. Medical practitioners must provide bank details within 60 calendar days of the date of that letter to Services Australia.

Flexible Payment System (FPS)

​Medical practitioners need to apply under the FPS if they provide eligible non-MBS services and/or undertake training (under approved training pathways) that is not reflected in MBS records. For more information about applying under the FPS, visit the Department's website.

To be eligible for the WIPDS, medical practitioners must:

  1. Provide a minimum amount of eligible primary care services and/or undertake GP Registrar training placements under an approved training pathway in regional, rural, and remote locations (MM 3-7) within Australia; and

  2. Meet the required number of active quarters for payment; and

  3. Have an eligible current Medicare provider number; and

  4. Have provided current bank account details to Human Services specifically for the WIPDS.

Below are the forms of employment that are eligible for assessment under the FPS.​

Location
Alternative Employment

MM3-7

​Medical practitioners working for:

  • Aboriginal Medical Services; or

  • the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) based in MM3-7 for all eligible primary care services; or

  • Participants on approved training pathways* in eligible GP training placements who are not billing the MBS sufficiently to reflect the services they have provided.

MM6-7

Commonwealth or State salaried medical practitioners providing primary care services; or

MM1-2

Participants on approved training pathways undertaking approved advanced training in MM 1-2 locations**. RFDS based in MM1-2 are eligible to apply only for primary care services delivered in association with an overnight stay in MM3-7 (either before or after).

Participants on approved training pathways undertaking approved advanced training in MM1-2 locations**. RFDS based in MM1-2 are eligible to apply only for primary care services delivered in association with an overnight stay in MM3-7 (either before or after).

In order to receive a Special Top-Up payment, the medical practitioner must already meet the requirements to receive a payment for the relevant reference period under either the 15 CPS or FPS. Special top-up services must not already be covered under the alternative employment provisions and must be clearly differentiated on the FPS Application Form.

Location
Special Top-Up Provisions

MM6-7

Medical practitioners who undertake:

  • Excessive travel time* to provide outreach services;

  • Population health work in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities; or

  • Support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers and/or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioners. ​

For further information on the WIPDS, please visit the Department of Health’s WIPDS webpage, or contact us via 07 3105 7853 or wipds@healthworkforce.com.au​.