The National Pathway

In December 2018, the National Rural Health Commissioner advised the Australian Government on the development of a National Rural Generalist Pathway. In response, the 2019–20 Budget committed $62.2 million to implement a training pathway for rural generalists and provide additional training places for GPs in regional, rural and remote communities. The specific training for rural generalists will ensure that GPs and registrars have the right skills to practise in rural settings and can address the shifting needs of regional, rural and remote communities.




A Rural Generalist is a medical practitioner who is trained to meet the specific current and future healthcare needs of Australian rural and remote communities, in a sustainable and cost-effective way, by providing both comprehensive general practice and emergency care and required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and community settings as part of a rural healthcare team.

Collingrove Agreement, 2018


Rural Generalists are an important part of our regional, rural and remote health workforce. They broaden the range of locally available medical services for rural Australians. This helps these communities to access the right care, in the right place, at the right time, as close to home as possible. Growing our rural generalist workforce will reduce hospital admissions, reduce the use of locum services and limit the need for patient travel. 


Three core elements are funded to support the National Pathway:

  • Supporting the GP Colleges to seek specialty recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine,
  • Establishment or expansion of rural generalist coordination units in each state and the Northern Territory,
  • Expansion of the existing Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund to support up to 200 new rural primary care settings rotations annually for junior doctors aspiring to be Rural Generalists.


The Rural Generalist Pathway WA Coordination Unit is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health under the National Rural Generalist Pathway.


More information on the National Pathway can be found on the Australian Department of Health website (opens in a new window). 


N RG Taskforce pathway figure

© Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Health) 2020. 

This figure is an excerpt from the National Rural Health Commissioner Final Report June 2020 (opens in a new window).

Last Updated: 16/05/2024