$124 M program to improve access to medical specialists, GPs, allied and other health providers in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.

   Rural Health Outreach Fund


The Rural Health Outreach Fund consolidates the activities of five existing outreach programs, and will provide a larger, flexible funding pool for initiatives aimed at supporting people living in regional,rural and remote locations to access a wide range of health care services. The department will work closely with stakeholders over the course of 2011 to develop comprehensive guidelines to underpin the operation of the fund, which will clearly articulate the fund’s policy objectives, operating parameters, eligibility criteria and compliance requirements.

The five programs that form the Fund are:

  1. Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance Program (MSOAP);
  2. MSOAP – Maternity Services;
  3. MSOAP – Ophthalmology;
  4. National Rural and Remote Health Program; and
  5. Rural Women’s GP Service Program.

The Rural Health Outreach Fund  will support the delivery of all medical specialties and a range of primary health care services in rural, regional and remote Australia. These include but are not limited to multi-disciplinary maternity services, eye health services and their coordination, and services by female GPs.



Successful organisations under the Rural Health Outreach Fund

State or NationalOrganisation
NSWNSW Rural Doctors Network
VICRural Workforce Agency Victoria
QLDCheckUP Australia
SARural Doctors Workforce Agency – SA
WARural Health West
TASDepartment of Health and Human Services Tasmania
NTDepartment of Health – Northern Territory
NationalAustralian College of Rural & Remote Medicine



The aim of the Rural Health Outreach Fund is to improve health outcomes for people living in regional, rural and remote locations by supporting the delivery of outreach health activities.

The Rural Health Outreach Fund  objectives are to:

  • provide both public and private outreach health services that address prioritised community needs;
  • broaden the range and choice of health services available in regional, rural and remote locations; and
  • remove the financial disincentives that create barriers to service provision.



The Government has allocated some $124 million over the next four years to the Rural Health Outreach Fund.


Eligible Projects

Outreach health activities that may be supported through the Rural Health Outreach Fund  include:

  • Specialist medical services;
  • Allied health services;
  • Midwife and nursing services;
  • Combinations of eligible services (i.e. multidisciplinary teams);
  • Outreach GP services, including support for female GPs to provide outreach services to broaden the health service choices available to rural women; and
  • Administration and coordination of these services.

The Rural Health Outreach Fund supports cultural training for outreach service providers and encourages providers to offer upskilling activities at outreach locations.


Funding Priorities

While the Rural Health Outreach Fund  supports general health needs in communities, the following priorities have been agreed by the Minister for Health for the first funding round are:

  • Maternity and Pediatric health;
  • Eye Health;
  • Mental Health;
  • Support for Chronic Disease management





Applications for the Rural Health Outreach Fund have closed.


Expert Assistance

Writing a good quality grant application is a critical element in the application process. An application needs to be well thought through, written concisely, have clear objectives and purpose, and show clear links to the objectives of the grant guidelines.

The grant application must answer all questions, provide all required information and respond to the merit criteria. It should also reflect your organisation’s business strategy.

Writing a good application takes time and effort, and requires particular writing skills.

Bulletpoint are expert grant consultants and can assist with all aspects of grant preparation.

Call us on (03) 9005 6789 or email to discuss further.

We have significant experience in applying for grants. Typical areas where we can be of assistance include:

  • Demonstrating the identified need;
  • Highlighting the relevance to current government policies and priorities;
  • Complete the Project Plan and Budget Projections;
  • Identify Outcomes that are measurable;
  • Detail the applicant organisation’s experience or expertise in undertaking the project/s;
  • Calculating the value for money; and
  • Demonstrating capacity to deliver quality outcomes


Additional Information

  • Rural Health Outreach Fund – Application Form
  • Rural Health Outreach Fund – Guidelines
  • Rural Health Outreach Fund – Funding Agreement
  • Rural Health Outreach Fund – Service Delivery Standards


Media Release

Australians living in rural and remote areas will have better access to essential medical services thanks to a $179 million investment from the Gillard Government that will bring more health professionals to areas that have found it hard to attract them.

This investment will increase access to maternity and paediatric services, eye health, mental health and support chronic disease management and mean about 250,000 visits to the doctor, nurse or allied health professional.

Experienced organisations in each state and territory have been selected to encourage more health professionals to provide outreach health services to people in rural and remote areas. Additional funding has also been provided to an organisation in each state and territory to specifically boost outreach services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek and the Minister for Indigenous Health Warren Snowdon said the successful organisations would work to boost vital health services in areas where they were most needed.

“The Gillard Government wants to make it easier for people to get vital medical services when and where they need them,” said Ms Plibersek.

“The successful organisations will be responsible for identifying and breaking down the barriers that prevent GPs and other health professionals from working in rural and remote parts of their state or territory.

“Each organisation will develop a plan of action to successfully deliver outreach services to areas of need.

“This includes the cost of travel, meals and accommodation, facility fees, administrative support at the outreach location, lease and transport of equipment, telephone support and up-skilling sessions for resident health professionals.

“In addition, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine will be funded to help integrate telehealth services into outreach areas so GPs can link up with health specialists to discuss patient health,” she said.

Mr Snowdon said many Aboriginal communities experienced difficulty attracting health professionals due to the costs associated with working in remote and isolated areas.

Providing specialist services in Aboriginal homelands and other remote locations can be expensive, so funding will be available through these organisations to help health professionals travel to these areas to deliver much needed services,” he said.

“The Australian Government wants everyone to have access to essential health services close to their homes, and outreach services are a great solution for people living in isolated parts of the nation.”

The funding will be provided through the Rural Health Outreach Fund and the Medical Outreach – Indigenous Chronic Disease Program. Organisations were selected following a national competitive tender process. A list of the successful applicants is provided below.