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Important Information about the John Flynn Placement Program from the Department of Health

14 May 2021

Following the 2021 Federal Budget announcement, the John Flynn Placement Program (JFPP) will cease, with funding redirected to expanding rural training opportunities for junior doctors.

As a result of the 2021 Budget announcement, there will be no further intake for the JFPP.

This means the 2021 application round scheduled for 17 May 2021 – 26 May 2021 will not proceed.

The Department of Health and the Rural Workforce Agency Network (RWAN) will work together to ensure a smooth transition to program closure, with final JFPP placements occurring this year.

Rural clinical training opportunities for medical students are available through universities participating in the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program.

As stated in the 2021-22 Portfolio Budget Statements – Department of Health:

Stronger Rural Health Strategy

The Government continues to build the rural medical training pipeline by expanding opportunities for early career doctors to work in rural communities while they complete their medical training through the new John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program (JFPDP). The JFPDP will consolidate existing funding for the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund and the John Flynn Placement Program to expand eligibility to prevocational doctors and importantly deliver new rural primary care rotations.

The Department of Health (the Department) acknowledges the longstanding JFPP which began in 1997 has created a large alumni, along with rural communities and the important mentors who have supported JFPP students. However, ceasing the JFPP recognises that the health training landscape has changed since the program started, particularly with the consolidation and expansion of the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program. The RHMT program’s national reach provides rural clinical training opportunities for many medical students.

As all public universities operating medical school programs participate in either the RHMT program or the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network (MDMSN), there are many more opportunities for medical students to experience rural training, including long term rural placements.

While the JFPP was a very important program in earlier years, exposing students to rural life, rural communities and rural medical practice, it is now time look further down the medical training pipeline.

In recognition of the Rev. Dr John Flynn’s work as an advocate for rural and remote health, his name will be retained for the new program – the John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program (JFPDP). The new JFPDP will target prevocational doctors (Postgraduate year 1 – 5), providing them with an opportunity to undertake rotations in rural primary care settings. With an expansion of rotations under the new JFPDP, existing JFPP participants will have greater opportunity to undertake rural rotations as part of their prevocational training.


The Rural Workforce Agencies will work with the current JFPP Scholars until the program ceases on 31 December 2021.  All scheduled and intended placements that are due to take place up to 31 December 2021 will be progressed.

We are awaiting further information from the Department of Health to understand the next steps for JFPP Scholars at different stages on their JFPP journey. Further information will be provided as it is received.

We will be in direct contact with all Scholars, Mentors, Hosts and Community Contacts with more information from Monday 24 May 2021. While we understand you may have questions, we will be better placed to respond after Monday 24 May 2021.

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