Distribution Priority Areas – DPA Map Changes 2021

17 July 2020 | Clinic Owners and Practice Managers, UK/Ireland GPs | 3 minutes read

Distribution Priority Areas – DPA Map Changes 2021

Initially it was said that the DPA Australia map would not change for 3 years,  however we were not surprised to see some changes were implemented as soon as July 2020. 

During the first two years after the inception of the new DPA classification system, most areas have expanded to further limit the locations where OTDs can practice. While we still believe DPA to be very restrictive, the Department of Health has for the first time made some progress and added more DPA locations in the July 2021 update than what they declassified/removed as DPA. 

Changes to previous DPA (for GPs) classification – 2021 Update

Distribution Priority Areas (DPA) are updated every year by the Department of Health. This year’s DPA update took effect on  1 July 2021.

Here is how the Department of Health explains their annual DPA map changes and catchment area updates:

“The DPA or DWS classification of an area can change when there has been a significant shift in access to health care since the previous annual update. This might be due to changes in the workforce, or in the size or makeup of the population.”

In the most recent update, the Department of Health pledged to provide more transparency surrounding the calculation method to determine the DPA status of a location as well as the level of variance above and below the DPA benchmarks. 

Apparently, COVID-19 and the impact on healthcare access was also considered in the determination of DPA map changes.  

2021 Changes for International Medical Graduates (IMGs)

  • 38 New DPA locations added
  • 5 DPA locations removed

2021 Changes for GPs in a Bonded Medical Program (BMP)

  • 26 New DPA locations added
  • 9 DPA locations removed

See all the details of locations with a new DPA status here

Further info on the assessment of each catchment area can be found here

Distribution Priority Areas Map

To check the DPA status of a particular location or catchment area, check the full map here

As you will see further below there are still a number of wins such as the DPA classification of the Mornington Peninsula. 

DPA Map Melbourne & VIC

Distribution Priority Areas Map Melbourne for GPs

Popular DPA Locations in Victoria:

  • Geelong
  • Keilor
  • Waurn Ponds
  • Ballarat
  • Mornington
  • Wodonga
  • Rosebud
  • Bendigo
  • Bairnsdale

DPA Map Sydney & NSW

Distribution Priority Areas Map Sydney for GPs


Popular DPA Locations in NSW:

  • Blackheath
  • Wyoming
  • Woy Woy
  • Albury
  • Kempsey
  • Bathurst

DPA Map Brisbane & QLD

Distribution Priority Areas Map Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast for GPs


Popular DPA Locations in QLD:

  • Bundaberg
  • Airlie Beach
  • Port Douglas

DPA Map Perth & WA

Distribution Priority Areas Map Perth for GPs


Popular DPA Locations in WA:

  • Busselton
  • Margaret River
  • Kalgoorlie
  • Karratha
  • Broome
  • Esperance
  • Albany

DPA Map Adelaide & South Australia

Distribution Priority Areas Map Adelaide for GPs


Popular DPA Locations in SA:

  • Port Augusta
  • Port Pirie
  • Victor Harbour
  • Murray Bridge
  • McLaren Vale
  • Blackwood
  • Golden Grove

DPA Map Hobart & Tasmania

DPA Map Tasmania


Popular DPA Locations in Tasmania:

  • Launceston
  • Devonport
  • Woodbridge
  • Richmond
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