Chair’s Report December 2021

Nicole Higgins

You made the difference this year – Thank YOU!

Merry Christmas to you and yours this Christmas! The deluge of work all GPs, including supervisors, registrars and their support teams have sat before throughout 2021 have exemplified how to eat an elephant… one bite at a time. 
 
General Practice once again performed like the veritable jewel in Australia’s health care crown delivering well over half of all covid vaccinations nationally whilst keeping up with our regular patients health care needs.
 
What General Practice and GP supervisors do best is get on with the job, often in undesirable conditions, but we do it anyway. While the colleges, the Department and stakeholder organisations go into bat for the very best outcomes for general practice, You keep everything going. And you will be the ones to keep everything going despite the ever shifting sands of transition to profession led training which is now 12 months away.
 
When we speak on your behalf we do so with the many frank discussions and often frustrated voices of our members in the memory and behind every word we write. You seek respect, recognition and reward for the many clinical supervision hours that are provided completely unpaid.

When we speak on your behalf we do so with the many frank discussions and often frustrated voices of our members in the memory and behind every word we write.

Dr Nicole Higgins

While 2022 will have its challenges, there have been some wins in 2021. GPSA have long advocated for greater resources and consistent remuneration for GP supervisors who perform the same role nationally. We do so because from every supervisor survey we have ever conducted you tell us it is important. And… because strangely GPSA and more recently GPRA have advocated almost uniquely for appropriate resourcing of GP supervision.

GP Training Grant Opportunity

We will be communicating with the colleges and the department in the new year about the grant opportunity they will be responding to. Notably registrar satisfaction of supervision is a KPI. Our feedback about this item is simple:

Clinical supervision is completely unpaid. So exactly what meaning will the colleges and the department apply to a registrar’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the supervision provided when the supervisor provides that supervision at a cost to themselves?

While we have all been waiting to see what is in store in the new world order of GP training, now the pressure rests with the colleges to put forward a funding proposal that adequately meets supervisor and registrar needs.

GP supervisor Professional Development

The non negotiable elements for GPSA are supervisor professional development opportunities that are not less than what is currently available via each RTO. GPSA cannot stress the importance of face to face peer networking and education. This needs to be adequately funded and facilitated. We cannot and should not accept online education and networking as the default.

Nationally Consistent Payment Model about to be announced for 2023

Shortly the Department of Health will release an advisory for National Consistent Payments for Supervisors, Teaching Practices and Registrars. There is a lot to like about the new package.  While most supervisors and training practices will receive an increase in teaching payments from 2023 as far as we can see no one will be worse off than they currently are and there will be, for the first time ever, national consistency; Equal pay for equal work.

Rural practices will see the most dramatic increases and this recognises the complexity in attracting and retaining supervisors in rural and remote locations and thereafter the additional work involved in supporting a registrar in a rural and remote location.

GP Synergy EGM

This month saw GP Synergy propose an amendment to its constitution, which sought to remove all members other than the RACGP. GPSA ran a survey of NSW members to seek your views ahead of the EGM vote. We did not seek to convince you one way or another because as a membership organisation our members are ultimately who inform our decisions. Wisely, GP Synergy adjourned the proposed EGM on 22 December until 20 January 2022 to further communicate their reasoning with you and its members.

What this represents is: Your voice is clear, concise, consistent and it matters!

Many of us will be working over Christmas to afford our teams the break they so deserve after a couple of relentless years – Thank you if you are doing this for your team and your community. For others please enjoy your hard earned break. Replenish and please stay safe.

The GPSA team and Board have worked hard to deliver for the membership throughout 2021. From all of us, may your Christmas cup runneth over, be bright, joyful and filled with cheer.

Merry Christmas!

Sincerely,

Dr Nicole Higgins

GPSA Chair