Rural doctors willing for help, but incentives can be tricky

RURAL and regional doctors are more likely to take up government incentives - but costs are stopping wider take up of government schemes, research has found.

The research published in the Medical Journal of Australia today showed in 2008 less than half of the surveyed doctors received any income from incentives and that decreased in 2011.

University of Technology Sydney's Dr Milica Kecmanovic and Professor Jane Hall found rural practices were more likely to take up incentives than GPs in cities.

"The response to incentives depends not just on the design of the incentive, but also on other conditions, such as levels of demand for or changes in approaches to treatment", Kecmanovic and Hall wrote.

"It is crucial to consider such [administrative] costs (especially relative to the size of the payment) when designing incentive payments.

"As market conditions are also likely to influence participation in incentive schemes, the impact of incentives can change over time and these schemes should be reviewed regularly." - APN NEWSDESK


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