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What is the Rural Health Workforce Incentive Scheme?

Rural and regional life in NSW has so much to offer. And these communities need health workers now more than ever.

The Rural Health Workforce Incentives Scheme (RHWIS) aims to recruit and retain staff in eligible positions at health services across regional and rural NSW.

In addition to standard employment entitlements, an incentives package is available for some NSW Health jobs in regional and rural locations across NSW.

The incentive scheme applies to all eligible health workers. So whether you're a nurse, doctor, physiologist, therapist, sonographer, social worker, occupational therapist, paramedic, administration officer, or in support and domestic services, there could be an incentivised job waiting for you at a public hospital or health facility.

What benefits are available in a RHWIS package?

In addition to standard employment entitlements, an incentives package of up to AUD$10,000 in value (depending on the position and location) is available for some roles in particular locations across NSW.

An incentives package might include financial and non-financial support in the form of:

  • professional development
  • accommodation assistance, and help with relocation costs
  • additional personal leave
  • family travel assistance
  • a rural or regional allowance or bonus, if relevant to the advertised role.

If you apply for and are offered an incentivised job under the RHWIS, you will discuss the details of your individual package with your new employer (NSW Health agency).

Who is eligible for a job that has scheme incentives?

While almost anyone can apply for an advertised job, to receive an incentive package under the RHWIS you must be a health worker employed by the NSW Health Service and engaged under the Health Services Act.

We recommend you read the RHWIS fact sheet which sets out important information about the scheme, and what you need to consider about working in rural and regional NSW.

Anyone who is not directly employed by NSW Health (for example, a locum, agency nurse, Visiting Medical Officer, or a contingent worker not paid through NSW Health payroll) is not entitled to incentives. We encourage you to apply for an incentivised position as an NSW Health employee.

Hear from our NSW Health rural workforce

Visit our Why we live and work in rural NSW page for stories and insights from NSW Health staff who already live and work in regional, rural and remote NSW.

How to apply for an incentivised job

Not all rural and regional health locations and jobs will be incentivised under this scheme – the recruiting LHD will make this decision.

If a job is incentivised, this information will appear in either the job posting title, or in the position description. If in doubt, please contact the advertised hiring manager or local recruitment office.

The NSW Health agency contact listed in the position description will be happy to discuss general details about the role and the incentives scheme at any stage of the recruitment process.

If you are offered the job, you will then be able to discuss the specific incentives available to you with your hiring manager or recruitment officer.

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Financial advice

We strongly recommend that you discuss any incentives you might receive or are already receiving with a financial advisor. NSW Health does not provide financial and tax advice.

The incentive package made available to individual employees is valued at its gross value. Any fringe benefit tax liability is not counted as part of the value of the package and the employing health agency is responsible for payment of any fringe benefit tax incurred.

For more information

Our RHWIS fact sheet answers some frequently asked questions about the scheme.

If you have a general question about the scheme please email

Visit our Recruitment initiatives page for information about other current NSW Health recruitment schemes.

Current as at: Tuesday 23 May 2023