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Attracting and training more doctors to live and work in regional and remote area has received a major boost with Far North Queensland selected as a successful rotation location under the federal government’s Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund.

This means new five doctors will be based in Cairns, Lockhart River, Kowanyama, Coen and Pormpuraaw.

Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the Morrison Government’s delivery in rural health and highlighted the practical benefits for the Far North Queensland community.

He said the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund allowed more doctors to complete different stages of their medical training, from student to specialist, in regional and remote communities.

“This latest funding will mean five new doctors will be undertaking their training in Far North Queensland but more importantly in remote Cape York communities,” Mr Entsch said.

“The Morrison Government is absolutely committed to improving access to high quality primary health care for all Far North Queenslanders by providing a frontline of skilled health workforce professionals.

“The Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund is one way of achieving this and continuing to build the rural training pipeline.

“I am excited to see more doctors in our region improving access to medical services for Far North Queenslanders, especially those living in remote Cape York communities.”

Federal Regional Services Minister Mark Coulton said the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund was further evidence the Coalition was delivering better health services for rural Australians.

“The Coalition Government is committed to bridging the city/country divide by encouraging more doctors to practise in rural and remote communities so that patients get access to the services they need,” Mr Coulton said.

“The Rural Junior Doctor Innovation Fund provides rurally-based junior doctors with a rotation in a rural primary care setting, increasing their likelihood of practising in the regions post-study.

“In 2020 the program will support up to 210 rotations for rurally based medical interns and up to 100 second year postgraduate doctors across Australia.”

The Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund is a key element of the government $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy announced in the 2018-19 budget.

Round Three of the program will deliver 84 training doctors into 22 rural communities across the country.

This third funding round also expands the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund to include second year postgraduate doctors for the first time.

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