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“The Silverware returns” was the turn of phrase tweeted by the GP community after The Hon. Minister Greg Hunt’s announcement last week that GP training would return to the auspices of the Colleges. This would then make all vocational training programs nationally profession lead.

Of course, this is a big change, but with a transition period between 2019-2022, like the most recent shake up of the industry, this change should be orderly and the infrastructure that constitutes the “silverware’s” return is unlikely to be trashed by those who need it most – the colleges.

While the announcement came as a shock to some, such propositions have been circling since the last major industry shake up when the dissolution of GPET was announced. The subsequent change, while challenging in some quarters has continued to deliver quality training outcomes and millions of tax payer dollars in savings – most a successful experiment.

This of course is testament to GP supervisors’ orientation to quality and regional training organisation personnel weathering significant GP training system changes – we expect that the same will be true with this latest announcement. That is because the Australian GP training system is far more complex and robust than one decision.

What will be important moving forward is that GP Supervisors remain engaged and despite the challenges ‘change’ presents, to continue to contribute positively to industry fora on the topic.

GP Supervisors Australia will continue to seek the views of the membership as we have been, while also highlighting the challenges and providing sensible and constructive solutions to national GP training policy as it evolves in this regard.

While we recognise that the announcement presents opportunities for each college, we also recognise that with privilege comes great responsibility. This is not a new concept to the AGPT community, of which the colleges, RTOs, GPRA and GPSA are members.

As RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel presented at GP 17: “there is no virtue in “. As such GPSA will continue to advocate for industry solutions: Watch this space.

Rural Health Commissioner Paul Worley announced

The GPSA Board welcomed the announcement of Professor Paul Worley as the Rural Health Commissioner on Saturday 22 October 2017.

The establishment of the rural health commission and Professor Worley’s appointment to the rural health commission in Australia is a pragmatic step in the right direction recognising the unique environments and scope of practice rural family practitioners deliver care within.

Professor Worley’s experience and therefore understanding and credibility as a rural GP and academic will assist with what is a challenging role.

If the solutions for rural Australia were simple, we would have no need for a rural health commissioner.

GP Supervisors Australia have had a number of opportunities to meet with Professor Worley over the past couple of weeks advocating for the role that GP Supervisors and the Australian GP Training program plays in recruiting and retaining GPs to our rural communities.

The number of GP registrars engaged through the AGPT system has doubled from 2011 to present, yet we still have the same GP distribution issues that have always existed.

It is time for a new approach. There has never been this level of investment in independent medicopolitical structure to help push reforms that are need on the ground. We look forward to working with Rural Health Commissioner Worley to effect positive and lasting benefits to our rural communities.

GPSA gearing up for 2018 NTCER Negotiations

2018 represents a negotiation year for the NTCER (National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars) and in this regard GPSA have begun to assemble its negotiation team.

In early 2018 GPSA will be seeking the views of GP supervisors about the changes that need to be made to the NTCER in this negotiation.

GPSA staff deal with registrar and training practice challenges with employment contracts on a daily basis so we have a pretty good idea of what the hot spots to be addressed are.

We hope that you will contribute your thoughts about what works well and what you would like to see changed when we seek your views.

Sincerely,

 

Dr Steve Holmes

GPSA Chair