Idyllic Australian beachside town’s huge package to lure a doctor with $450k salary, rent-free house and car

Melissa Sheil
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Livingston Medical is advertising for a rural generalist to work four days a week, alternating between their practices in Western Australia in Bremer Bay and Jerramungup.
Livingston Medical is advertising for a rural generalist to work four days a week, alternating between their practices in Western Australia in Bremer Bay and Jerramungup. Credit: Bremer Bay Resort/RegionalHUB

One of Australia’s most beautiful beachside towns is in such desperate need of a doctor that a lucrative package has been put together to entice them to the region.

Livingston Medical is advertising for a rural generalist to work four days a week, alternating between their practices in Western Australia in Bremer Bay and Jerramungup, offering $300,000 to $450,000 per year, or 70 per cent of billings, plus a rent-free five-bedroom house and four-wheel drive.

The successful applicant will be the only doctor in the shire, with the nearest general practitioner almost 200km away in Albany.

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Livingston Medical chief executive Rachel Livingston said someone with a wide range of skills would be the “right fit” for the job.

“Being the only doctor in the town has its challenges, so we need someone of a high calibre,” she said.

“You need someone who can do general practice and can operate in an emergency, as well as things such as mental health, obstetrics and anaesthetics.

“The Swiss army knife of doctors really.”

Bremer Bay.
Bremer Bay. Credit: Luke Capogreco

The shortage of general practitioners in rural areas is not limited to the Great Southern, with a 2023 report from the Royal Flying Doctor Service revealing the crisis facing rural communities.

A general practitioner position in Quairading was advertised in 2023 for $1 million and another in Lake Grace offered $650,000.

Ms Livingston said despite the challenges of rural living, such as finding jobs for a spouse and high schools for children, there were numerous benefits.

“This sort of position is cradle-to-grave medicine,” she said.

“You’re getting to see babies being born and palliating the great-grandparents — dealing with people for their whole life.

“You can see that you’re making a true difference in people’s lives by being there.

“You become heavily ingrained in the community and you end up caring passionately about the people, who sort of become your family.”

Shire of Jerramungup president Joanne Iffla said the current GP, Dr Felicity Paget, would be staying on until a replacement was found.

“I would like to assure the community that the Shire of Jerramungup is working closely with Livingston Medical to ensure the practice and patients are provided with a seamless transition,” she said.

“In order to facilitate economic and population growth within the Shire of Jerramungup, the provision of general practice services within our community is critically important.”

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