National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program
This page provides information on The National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP)
IntroductionThe National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) aims to improve access to health services by providing funding to rural and remote communities for essential health infrastructure and equipment. It also provides funding for strategic service planning for small rural private hospitals.
The NRRHIP is a competitive grant program that amalgamates the former Rural Medical Infrastructure Fund (RMIF) and the Rural Private Access (RPA) Program. The eligibility criteria reflects those former programs.
Invitation to Apply for Funding status: CLOSEDThe Invitation to Apply for round six of the NRRHIP opened on 8 October 2011 and closed at 2pm on 15 December 2011 Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
Aim of the NRRHIPThe NRRHIP aims to:
- improve access to health services by providing funding to rural and remote communities to establish new, or enhance existing, walk-in/walk-out primary health care and medical facilities, where the lack of infrastructure (capital works and/or equipment) is a barrier to the delivery of essential health services;
- increase the range of and/or enhance existing privately insurable health services available to rural and remote Australia;
- improve the resources and facilities available to private general practitioners to assist with the training of registrars and medical students; and
- improve the viability of small rural private hospitals.
- support local rural and remote communities to develop flexible, long-term solutions for the provision of health services to meet the needs of the community;
- assist the establishment and/or refurbishment of walk-in/walk-out primary health care and medical facilities in rural and remote communities;
- retain community access to rural private hospital services;
- support allied health professionals to establish, continue and/or enhance the delivery of privately insurable health services to rural and remote communities; and
- make it easier for rural and remote communities to recruit and retain the services of general practitioners and allied health professionals.
Who can apply?Those eligible to apply for funding under the NRRHIP are:
- local government organisations (shire councils, district councils, regional councils);
- Divisions of General Practice;
- Medicare Locals;
- Indigenous organisations incorporated under one of the following:
- Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006;
- Corporations Act 2001; or
- Similar State/Territory legislation.
- private general practitioners, where funding will be used for training facilities for medical students/registrars;
- allied health professionals, where funding will be used to establish, continue and/or enhance the delivery of privately insurable health services; and dentists in private practice; and
- rural private hospitals including those eligible under the former Bush Nursing, Small Community and Regional Private Hospitals Program and the Rural Private Access Program.
Divisions of General Practice, Medicare Locals and local government organisations may also apply for NRRHIP funding to fund facilities which are located on hospital or health campus grounds.
Under the NRRHIP an allied health professional may include:
- Aboriginal Health and Mental Health Workers
- Occupational Therapists
- Registered nurses in specialist roles (including asthma management, diabetes education or mental health)
- Speech pathologists.
What can NRRHIP support?A maximum of $500,000 (GST exclusive) is available under the NRRHIP for eligible applicants seeking to provide services in rural and remote communities in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Areas (RA) 2 to 5 with a population of up to 20,000.
The amount for each funding stream of an application will be capped as follows:
- $500,000 (GST exclusive) for capital works / refurbishment; Top of page
- $250,000 (GST exclusive) for equipment; and/or
- $50,000 (GST exclusive) strategic service planning for rural private hospitals.
Only one application per applicant will be accepted in each funding round. The Department will accept more than one application from a Division of General Practice, Medicare Local, or local government organisation, only if the projects are in distinctively different locations.
Note: Applications from suburbs within larger townships will not be considered. The population of the township will be taken into consideration and not the population of the individual suburb.
Capital Works / Refurbishment may involve:
- the acquisition or establishment of new buildings and/or fit-out or renovations of existing buildings; and/or
- refurbishment of private practices to establish training facilities for medical students and/or medical registrars.
- medical/surgical equipment;
- technology upgrades such as computer hardware and software;
- patient information management systems; and/or
- videoconferencing equipment.
- undertaking a feasibility study for a particular health service delivery model, including the introduction of privately insurable health services;
- undertaking a consultancy and community/stakeholder consultations to assist the development of appropriate health service delivery models to address community needs and to enhance the long term viability of the services;
- support for accreditation; and/or
- examining current administrative and financial management arrangements in order to achieve economies of scale.
The NRRHIP will not supportFunding will not be provided for:
- projects in Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Area (RA) 1;
- projects in locations with a population over 20,000 (except eligible rural private hospitals);
- state government facilities and entities;
- medical specialists;
- acute care patient fees;
- ambulatory services;
- aged care services and facilities;
- pathology services or equipment;
- anaesthetic services;
- student accommodation;
- transport other than to support outreach services;
- research activity;
- support services to health professionals and hospitals;
- salaries for health professionals, project officers, management and administrative staff who are undertaking normal duties;
- strategic service planning other than for rural private hospitals;
- conference attendance;
- consumables (i.e. resources or supplies that have a single or very short term use including individual medical items such as bandages, medications, needles, light globes, and individual office items such as paper, pens, toner ink etc);
- rental costs for residential accommodation for health practitioners. However, consideration may be given to projects that incorporate self-contained flats within the health service to provide short-term accommodation for health professionals;
- recurrent costs such as operating expenses, practice management, ongoing building and equipment maintenance and repair, rent, annual licensing fees, insurance and state and local government statutory charges such as rates (exceptions may be made on a case by case basis e.g. in the short-term for the establishment of a new service); and/or
- retrospective costs, i.e. expenses incurred before contractual arrangements with the Commonwealth are completed, or for projects already completed.
How are applications assessed?Applications are assessed against a number of criteria including:
- Relevance of the project to the NRRHIP aim and objectives;
- Community need;
- Suitability of the project plan;
- Relevant experience of the project team;
- Demonstrated value for money;
- Demonstrated capacity for sustainability;
- Management of potential or actual competing interests; and
- Risk analysis and mitigation strategy.
Contact detailsFor more information about the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program please email NRRHIP or telephone 1800 780 939 (in office hours 8:00 am to 4:30 pm AEST). Top of page
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- Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia Report
- A National Health and Hospitals Network for Australia’s future
- A Healthier Future for All Australians: National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission - Final Report June 2009