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A predominant issue for rural general practices is a lack of medical workforce, and strategies to overcome this issue are urgently required. The introduction of Medicare-funded telehealth in primary care settings during the coronavirus pandemic saw an increase in access to virtual care options for patients. This environment highlighted the opportunity to explore the extension of telehealth to address shortages in primary care workforce and increase access to care for rural patients.

In 2021, the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN), Health Workforce Queensland (HWQ) and the Centre for Health System Reform and Integration (CHSRI) partnered with three rural general practices to develop the Virtual Integrated Practice (VIP) Program, where an urban/regional General Practitioner (GP) joins a rural general practice and provides ongoing care to patients remotely via telehealth. The model of care was designed to address those issues most important to long-term practice sustainability and population health outcomes.

Please contact Jenny Job ( j.job@mater.uq.edu.au) for more information about this Program or to enquire about participating.


  1. Calleja Z, Job J, Jackson C. Offsite primary care providers using telehealth to support a sustainable workforce in rural and remote general practice: A rapid review of the literature. Aust J Rural Health. 2023 Feb;31(1):5-18. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajr.12920

  1. Lepre B, Job J, Martin Z, Kerrigan N, Jackson C. The Queensland Virtual Integrated Practice (VIP) partnership program pilot study: an Australian-first model of care to support rural general practice. BMC Health Serv Res. 2023 Oct 31;23(1):1183.    https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-023-10189-0