3 May 2021

RACGP unveils plan for GP training

Political RACGP TheHill

The revamped Australian General Practice Training scheme will focus on centralising services and addressing the rural workforce shortage, the RACGP revealed in a position statement released today.

While it was announced in 2017 that the AGPT will be brought back under college control, and Regional Training Organisations’ funding has only been extended to 2023, very few details have been released until now.

General Practice Supervisors Australia President Dr Nicole Higgins told TMR last week that further detail had been long-awaited, especially for incoming registrars.

“If people are unsure or don’t know what’s going to happen in GP training, it’s going to have an impact on the numbers of training,” she said.

“It’s going to impact, for example, state emergency departments because if there’s a reduced number of doctors training in certain communities it’s a huge flow on effect.”

According to the college’s statement, it will create a service hierarchy, with one national team at the top, 16 regional teams in the middle and about 70 local teams at the bottom.

This structure, according to the RACGP, will allow for localised service delivery without double-handling.

“Where local contextualisation is not required, this education will be developed through a centralised RACGP capability, in contrast to the current distributed and duplicated arrangements inherent in the regional delineation of RTOs,” the RACGP wrote.

“Central and local delivery will be applied according to the mode of education and the need for localisation; for example, online learning modules will be delivered centrally and group peer learning will be delivered locally, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health learning will largely be delivered locally.”

As previously reported by TMR, RTOs have only had their funding extended to semester one of 2023, which some sources at the time said indicated a three-year execution timeline for the RTOs.

Another facet of the RACGP’s plan involves launching RACGP Service, a program which will recruit college members in underserved communities and pair them with a registrar, with the college member effectively becoming the paired registrar’s supervisor.

According to the college, this will allow for more rural placements, help create more “challenging” training locations and assist in attracting registrars.

“RACGP Service placements could also provide an opportunity for a medical student, intern or resident medical officer (RMO) (or combination thereof) to accompany the supervisor, creating a vertical learning experience while delivering significant additional service capacity,” the college wrote.

“Connection with the community would be established early in the training pipeline and, together with ongoing case management and mentorship, lead to long-term retention.

“The supervisor–registrar combination and their matching to a community is key to the success of the RACGP Service as a training, service delivery and retention strategy.”

The college claims they will be able, for the most part, to fund their proposed model within the existing AGPT budget.

COVID-19 live update
Something to say?

Leave a Reply

3 Comments on "RACGP unveils plan for GP training"

Please log in in to leave a comment

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
2 months 18 days ago

The only thing that keep people in rural is incentive and money

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller
2 months 23 days ago

This is largely irrelevant detail from the point of view of the registrars-in-training, and includes descriptions of what medical students already do and the costly PGPPP program. What’s new?
Riddle me this, Batman … how will RACGP ensure that the country is served y registrars? Will registrars be forced to work in the country on rotation???

2 months 18 days ago
“……Will registrars be forced to work in the country on rotation???…” NO WAY – one in all in – All Drs and nurses and AHPRA registered health providers incl non GP specialists who got their Fellowship say even 40 years way back have to show that have done “X” years in MMM3-7. Absolutely nil reason that all the rural burden should fall onto the new registrars . The burden needs to be shared across the whole workforce irrespective of when they graduated. Yes this will be disruptive to established practices and metro patients but metro patients will then get a… Read more »