Port Augusta zoned a Distribution Priority Area for GPs


Port Augusta City Council Media Release

Port Augusta was recently zoned and recognised as a Distribution Priority Area (DPA) by the Commonwealth Government. The DPA classification identifies locations in Australia with a shortage of medical practitioners based on the needs of the community.

International medical graduates who are GPs need to work in an area classified DPA to access Medicare under section 19AB of Australia’s Health Insurance Act 1973.

Australian-trained bonded doctors with return-of-service obligations work in DPA locations to access the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Practices located in a DPA location can employ these doctors to increase the workforce and improve the community’s access to subsidised Medicare services.

Following concerns raised through the Port Augusta, Roxby Downs & Woomera Health Advisory Council in 2016, a GP Workforce Shortage Work Group was initiated in Port Augusta and has been lobbying to change the classification with support also coming from Rowan Ramsey MP, Dan van
Holst Pellekaan MP, Flinders & Far North Doctors Association, Country SA PHN, Flinders & Upper North Local Health Network, Local Doctors and Port Augusta City Council.

Mayor Brett Benbow stated “To hear that Port Augusta is now zoned as a Distribution Priority Area for General Practitioners is fantastic news. Port Augusta desperately requires more GPs to support our community and to reduce the workloads of existing GPs. Whilst this is only one piece of the puzzle in attempting to attract additional GPs to Port Augusta, the news is being gratefully received.”

There is a tool available to see which health workforce classifications and incentives apply in different areas of Australia.


For further information please contact Council’s Media and Communications Officer on (08) 86419100.