GPSA Chair Dr Nicole Higgins with AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, and ACRRM President, Dr Sarah Chalmers.
As many of you are already aware, I have put my hand up to be the next RACGP President, which may make this my last Chair report for GPSA.
The past 2 years have been exciting and challenging and I have loved every minute of it (well, almost!).
This organisation has a big heart and big influence and runs on a shoestring.
I am proud to have advocated for our supervisor and practice managers through the transition of training back to the colleges, seen our research be published and our resources grow and remain free, open access. I am especially excited for the future of GPSA in the next few years.
Good working relationships and collaboration have been a key focus the last 18 months. GPSA and GPRA are renegotiating the NTCER. We have worked together with the colleges to support paid parental leave for registrars. GPSA meets regularly with both RACGP and ACRRM, the RTO’s and Department of Health to ensure the needs of training practices remain a central focus in policy development.
The current issues facing supervisors and practice managers are now the detail of what training looks like. GPSA has seen the practice agreements and provided feedback that they are simple and easy to understand and some minor changes. GPSA has provided feedback around the Work Based Assessments to ensure that they are easy and simple to use. We are yet to see what the computer system looks like or how this will integrate with Services Australia.
Payroll tax is another issue that GPSA is aware may impact upon training practices. The situation in NSW couldn’t have come at a worse time when general practice is struggling to attract and retain GP’s. We would love to hear from training practices who have been affected by recent rulings or have received letters from the government.
Last week I was in Cairns and visited the Aboriginal Community of Yarrabah regarding the North Queensland Pharmacy Trial. Local GP supervisors and the GP and medical community came together with our peak organisations AMA, RACGP, ACRRM and RDAQ. If this gets rolled out in north Queensland then it will be rolled out Australia wide. This gives the pharmacist the ability to prescribe for 23 conditions including heart failure and asthma. It makes a mockery of the training that GP registrars receive around safe prescribing and disease management when pharmacists only have to complete the equivalent of 3 weeks or 120 hours of training.
So it is with pride, sadness and joy that I thank the board of GPSA, the operational team and CEO Carla Taylor for making my time at GPSA so rewarding.
I encourage all RACGP supervisors to vote and have your say.
Yours in training,
Dr Nicole Higgins