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Medicare freeze

You’ve got to love democracy and elections right? Apparently no-one, not labor, nor the Health Minister herself, actually wants a Medicare freeze. Is this the freeze we had to have? The Medicare freeze will remain a major election issue for GP Supervisors and hopefully the voting public as they begin to realise ‘Joe and Jane Public’ are the ones most likely to lose from the freeze.

A Medicare freeze on top of frozen training practice and supervisor payments for the last 14 years puts an unsustainable financial pressure on small business; your business. We have consistently sent a message to government and the Department that training registrars is at best a marginal financial prospect and often a loss-making exercise for the practice. While most practices and supervisors train registrars for reasons other than monetary reward, as always, there is a point where practices will pull out of training – at a time when registrar numbers have never been greater.

We have sent a strong message that even before the Medicare freeze affects the viability of practices the supply of quality training practices and supervisors like you will fall away. Let’s hope some common sense prevails.

GPSA prepared a summary of the federal budget impact on GP supervisors.

National terms and conditions for the employment of registrars (NTCER)

The next round of negotiations for the national terms and conditions for the employment of registrars (NTCER) is about to commence. A negotiation panel has been selected, however GPSA needs to hear from supervisors regarding what issues you would particularly like addressed in the new version of the NTCER. GPSA will endeavour to produce a simpler, clearer document. Particular issues seem to be seeking additional clarity with regards part-time registrars and educational release. You can email your thoughts to ceo@gpsupervisorsaustralia.org.au.

Practice contract principles

GPSA will be seeking to negotiate with the heads of all of the regional training organisations (RTO’s) and the Commonwealth Department of Health with regards developing a set of guidelines and principles for practice contracts with RTOs. The unequal relationship that exists between practices and RTO’s supports the need for some clear guidelines regarding fairness and equity in these contracts. Again GPSA is seeking feedback from supervisors about what things they particularly like in their RTO contracts and what issues they find unreasonable. You can email your thoughts to ceo@gpsupervisorsaustralia.org.au.

Future directions

GPSAs webinar series is attracting a crowd, consistently attracting over 150 registrations per webinar, so thank you for engaging. We are currently developing a series of online resources to aid in-practice teaching to the registrars. The plan: quick, easy to access, quality, up-to-date information and inspiration for ways to teach subjects to your registrars. This is in line with GPSAs commitment to quality teaching and practices and we believe it will be particularly useful when supervisors are confronted with struggling and excelling registrars alike. We continue to represent you at all major GP training industry forums… as always we’re with you all the way.

Sincerely,

Dr Bruce Willett
Chair GPSA