Rural Generalism: the Collingrove Agreement

Amazing what a meeting in a wine-growing region and a new face can do for a rift that’s been going on for years.

Rural Health Commissioner Emeritus Professor Paul Worley, ACRRM President Associate Professor Ruth Stewart and RACGP President Dr Bastian Seidel met and agreed on rural generalism.

Hurrah! In case you missed it, here it is:

The Collingrove Agreement (February 2018)

Representatives from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) recently met with the National Rural Health Commissioner at Collingrove Homestead in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, to explore opportunities for collaboration.

The two Colleges are determined to secure a strong, sustainable and skilled national medical workforce to meet the needs of our rural and remote communities. The two Colleges have agreed to work together to lead the development of a national framework for Rural Generalism.

Consistent with the Cairns Consensus Statement on Rural Generalist Medicine and acknowledging the contextual position statements on Rural Generalism by ACRRM and the RACGP respectively, the two Colleges propose that a Rural Generalist (RG) is a medical practitioner who is trained to meet the specific current and future health care needs of Australian rural and remote communities, in a sustainable and cost-effective way, by providing both comprehensive general practice and emergency care, and required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and community settings as part of a rural healthcare team.

A Rural Generalist Pathway Taskforce is being formed, led by the National Rural Health Commissioner, which will ensure broad input from across the rural health sector into this Pathway. Further details of, and ways to contribute to, this historic work will be announced soon.

A significant first run on the board for the Professor Worley.

Watch this space for further developments!

Consultation on revised sexual boundaries guidelines

The Medical Board of Australia is conducting a consultation on revised changes to the sexual boundaries in the doctor-patient relationship guidelines. The revised guidelines take in the findings of the chaperone review.

Consultations are open till 29 March 2018.

Make a submission here:

National Health Genomics Policy Framework and Implementation Plan – information

Never hear of genomics? “You will young Skywalker, you will”. And how is it different to genetics?

The first National Health Genomics Policy Framework (and Implementation Plan) was quietly released in November 2017.

The focus is on genomic testing to prevent, diagnose, treat or monitor disease.

Sadly, there isn’t actually a definition of genomics in the entire document (although they do say that in this document, genomics refers to both the study of a single gene and the study of an individual’s entire genetic make up and how it interacts with environmental or non-genetic factors),

Here’s one from the WHO ):

“Genomics is defined as the study of genes and their functions, and related techniques. Genetics is the study of heredity.

The main difference between genomics and genetics is that genetics scrutinizes the functioning and composition of the single gene where as genomics addresses all genes and their inter relationships in order to identify their combined influence on the growth and development of the organism.”

The 5 Strategic Priority Areas are:

  1. Person-centred approach: delivering high quality care for people through a person-centred approach to integrating genomics into health care;
  2. Workforce: building a skilled workforce that is literate in genomics;
  3. Financing: ensuring sustainable and strategic investment in cost-effective genomics;
  4. Services: maximising quality, safety and clinical utility of genomics in health care; and
  5. Data: responsible collection, storage, use and management of genomic data.

Find the policy framework here: (you’ll have to scroll down the list to find it! – it’s alpahabetical)

Find the implementation plan here:

Expect to hear a lot more on this topic in future. We’ll keep you posted!

Self-reflection and the law

There was a huge outcry over the treatment of Dr Bawa-Garba, when some of the UK paediatric registrar’s self-reflection statements were used against her in court.

Everyone is wondering what this means for them at a time when the Medical Board of Australia has launched its Professional Performance Framework, which encourages reflection.

Time will tell……