The Intern Incentive Allowance for Rural Pharmacies (IIARP) is part of a series of programs aimed at strengthening the medical workforce in rural and remote areas in Australia. It provides financial payments to qualified pharmacies for hiring pharmacy interns throughout the program’s duration.
Australians in rural and remote areas have been shown to have poorer health outcomes than those living in metropolitan areas. Schemes like an increased number of funded university training places and quotas for health courses have attempt to improve these health outcomes by supplying more workers to these areas.
The IIARP is another initiative to draw health workers to these rural areas. It runs for a duration of between six and 12 months and is available to all qualified community pharmacies. According to the program rules, rural areas located in rural areas with a PhARIA rating of between two and six are eligible to apply.
The IIARP’s qualification requirements for interns
The program pays community pharmacies for hiring interns. Successful intern applicants must be Australian citizens or have a permanent residency, and must have completed a pharmacy course that’s approved by the Pharmacy Board of Australia.
Furthermore, eligible applicants need to be in a current internship program with a minimum employment period of six months. They will also be required to provide placement reports upon application.
The IIARP’s qualification requirements for pharmacies
Pharmacies that meet the following requirements can apply for the IIARP. Firstly, they must qualify as a community pharmacy by meeting the definitions outlined in the Pharmacy Programs Administrator General Terms and Conditions. They must also meet the Preceptor requirements of the Pharmacy Board of Australia and be situated in a location with a PhARIA rating of between two and six.
Facilities that meet these requirements will then need to employ intern pharmacists for the duration of the program and provide appropriate placement.
The IIARP application process
The IIARP has a duration of 6 months, and individuals and pharmacies that meet these requirements will need to apply no later than 90 days after the pharmacy intern has been employed. Applications can be made through the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal. Submitted documents will need to be certified by an eligible witness based on the legislation in the territory.
The IIARP also has an extension program with slightly different eligibility criteria. Interns will need continuous employment for a minimum of 12 months. In addition to this, pharmacies will also need to be located in PhARIA areas of category four to six.
Applications for the IIARP extended program should be submitted 60 days before the completion of the pharmacy intern’s employment.
Community pharmacies that meet the above criteria are eligible to receive a maximum of $10,000, minus GST, per intern for a duration of 12 months, and $5,000 for a six month program.
Before receiving payments, preceptors must submit a pharmacist mid placement and end placement report. The Mid Placement Report should be submitted 30 days after the first 6 months of placement, and the End Placement Report shall be submitted 30 days after the end of placement.
Intern pharmacists are also required to submit Pharmacy Intern and Placement Feedback Reports as a part of the Pharmacist and Placement Report. Payment will be made according to the submitted reports.
For a six month program, payment is split into two $2,500 payments. The first will be paid within 28 days of the application’s approval. The next $2,500 will be paid within 28 days of the submission of an accepted Pharmacies and Placement Report and Intern Pharmacist End Placement Feedback Report.
Under the IIARP extension program, community pharmacies are eligible for a maximum of $20,000 over a continuous 12 month period. The amount is split into two payments of $7,500 and one payment of $5,000. The first $7,500 payment will be made within 28 days of the application’s approval, and the second $7,500 within 28 days of receipt of accepted pharmacists mid placement report.
The third IIARP extension payment of $5,000 will be paid within 28 days of the submission of an accepted Pharmacist’s End Placement Report and Intern Pharmacist End Placement Feedback Report.
Other incentives under the Rural Pharmacy Workforce Programs
The Pharmacy Programs Administrator also provides other schemes targeted at improving medical services in rural and remote areas of Australia. These can be found on the 6CPA website or the Pharmacy Programs Administrator website.
Some of the schemes focus on paying an allowance and maintenance to approved pharmacies, while others encourage students from rural areas to undergo medical training.