The latest trick to attract GPs to work in the country? Music videos

Doug Hendrie

4/05/2018 1:29:12 PM

A small town in rural Victoria hit the headlines this week by putting out a music video in a bid to attract new GPs.

Northern District Community Health’s video has attracted close to 10,000 views since being posted at the end of April.
Northern District Community Health’s video has attracted close to 10,000 views since being posted at the end of April.

After going eight months with a severe shortage of GPs in the northern Victoria town of Kerang, staff members and patients at Northern District Community Health, as well as a few local residents, appeared in a music video riffing on Queen’s I want to break free.

The clip includes lines about the meaningfulness of medical work in a country town, the sense of community and the lack of traffic.
One line runs: ‘If you want a career that will push your frontier, oh how you’ll love being our GP.’
The town of almost 4000 people is short four GPs, but has so far had no luck in finding people for the positions.
Kerang is just the latest in a long line of rural towns trying to lure GPs away from the attractions of metropolitan life. Australia has a persistent shortage of GPs in rural, remote and very remote areas and, in many cases, the offer of lucrative salaries and even free houses and cars has not been enough.
This has driven towns to more creative efforts.
In 2007, Albury-Wodonga on the Victorian–NSW border wooed doctors with free weekends away to wineries, Murray River cruises and gourmet restaurant dinners. Also in 2007, Temora in south-west NSW made headlines by offering a $500,000 incentive to replace a GP qualified in obstetrics and anaesthetics.         
And to attract GPs to the Northern Territory’s Groote Eylandt, Australia’s fourth-largest island, there was an offer of a package of a $500,000 annual salary, as well as housing, a car, bills paid, and three months holiday a year. 
Other towns have succeeded more indirectly. Broken Hill’s history mosque, founded by cameleers from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 19th century, now attracts Muslim doctors, according to a medical recruiter.

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Lin   27/09/2018 3:51:08 PM

Lolz. So cute. "You'll fall in love with the people- they'll welcome you with open arms" is quite true- i had a wonderful experience observing in Melbourne. Aussies are lovely and hospitable. Trouble is, with all our experience and qualification, the initial cost of applying and sitting for exams is the greatest difficulty even if we have family in Aus. Sigh.