Chair’s Report April 2021

 

Like you all, my practice has welcomed a new cohort of registrars and medical students and celebrated registrars achieving fellowship. This is happening at a time when we grapple with the logistics of covid vaccination, future funding models of general practice, GP shortages in rural and regional areas and remuneration of supervisors and registrars.

Profession-Led Community Based Training
There is a reform agenda being reviewed by the government at present and GPSA is advocating for supervisors and training practices. Our guiding principles:

  1. A GP education system based on an apprenticeship model
  2. Reforms need to be evidenced based and demonstrate that they will improve the GP training experience
  3. All GP’s in training must be supervised
  4. GP supervisors are recognised, supported and adequately funded to provide in-practice clinical supervision and education
  5. GPSA to continued to be funded independently

The recent GPSA supervisor survey demonstrated a high degree of trust in the RTO’s by supervisors. GPSA is concerned about the impact on supervisors, training practices and registrars with the cessation of RTO contracts in February 2023. It has taken a long time to rebuild relationships and capacity in GP training after the previous shakeup in 2015. GPSA will work hard to ensure the integrity of GP training into the future on behalf of our members.

We seem to be chasing our tails and starting at the wrong end. The whole GP training journey starts from entry to medical school and then exposure to general practice as an undergraduate. Many of our supervisors train medical students as well as registrars and know the importance of exposure to general practice in those formative years.

Why is the review called for? The answer is workforce. How do we get the doctors with the right skills in right places. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. Simple solutions can have big unintended consequences at the other end of the pipeline.

And it is complicated… There are many fingers in the funding pie, many agencies wanting pieces of the pie and the government has said that there will be no increase in funding. Most importantly, we want to keep general practice funding in general practice. Both RACGP and ACRRM are commended for working well together and working with the government to support sensible policy reforms.

GPSA supports initiatives for our rural supervisors, but we have concerns about the impact of the proposed change in definition of ‘rural areas’ as MM3-7 as opposed to MM2-7. Training in outer regional MM2 areas, which service rural communities will be impacted the hardest as they will struggle to attract registrars if they are competing against their urban counterparts.

As we review the system, we need to provide certainty and stability. GPSA will continue to work with our key stakeholders to ensure the best outcome for GP training.

On a different note, GPSA is kicking some big own goals!

Some stats

 

Dr Nicole Higgins
Chair GPSA