The critical shortage of doctors working in regional towns could be alleviated next year as 100 training spots open up with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.
In Katherine, waiting times for an appointment with a doctor have reached up to two weeks with only two General Practitioners attending to a population of more than 10,000.
Understaffed clinics is not an isolated issue to Katherine, recruiting and retaining doctors in regional towns is an ongoing problem increasing hospitalisation rates and health costs.
Minister for Regional Health Mark Coulton said research shows doctors who train in the bush are more likely to stay and work in the bush at the completion of their training.
"I'm focused on addressing the maldistribution of doctors in the bush," Minister Coulton said.
"Expanding the training will ensure there is [a] pipeline of rural generalists coming through to support a viable and sustainable workforce.
"Regional, rural and remote Australians deserve the same access to high quality health services as those who live in our capital cities."
The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine president, Dr John Hall, said the extra training spots will expand ACRRM's Commonwealth funded training places to 250 in 2021 - a substantial increase from the 150 places that it has currently.
"Rural Generalist doctors are the Swiss Army knife of medicine," he said.
"They not only work as GPs in their communities, but they also provide many other crucial services that their communities need - like obstetrics, anaesthetics, general surgery, emergency medicine, advanced mental healthcare, Indigenous health, paediatrics and palliative care.
"To this end, they are a very cost-effective way of providing rural communities with the scope of local medical care they need."
Dr Hall said the funding is a step in the right direction to fixing a critical shortage of doctors in the NT and Australia.
"There is significantly more that needs to be done to expand Rural Generalist training in Australia," he said.
"This is just one element of a much larger picture that, once fully implemented, will make a big difference in the future delivery of the next generation of Rural Generalist doctors to our country communities.
"The next important step for the Government is to move urgently to roll-out the National Rural Generalist Pathway, which will be the main mechanism for supporting Rural Generalist training in Australia.
"Given the significant time involved in training new Rural Generalist doctors, the Pathway needs to be up and running as soon as possible.
"And while we have welcomed the Government's initial funding for the Pathway, a critical step now is to put in place a long-term funding commitment that guarantees its strong future."
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