Chair’s report – November 2019

It’s been a busy time since I last wrote to you.

RMA19 and GP19 have come and gone. Glen Wallace (GPSA CEO) and myself were able to speak to many members and senior GP training people at those meetings on your behalf.

Single employer model

There has been much discussion regarding a single employer model since the last newsletter.  To be clear, it is the unintended consequences of this move that we as GP supervisors are concerned about. Changes need to be thought through very carefully to ensure that by trying to fix one problem, other, greater ones are not created. The last thing we want is to see registrars in a worse position than they are now due to poorly-thought-out industrial relations or HR structures, or practices being unable to afford to take registrars on.

A meeting was held by the Department of Health with GP training stakeholders on September 19 to discuss options for a single employer model to support Rural Generalist registrars. Such a model would be looking to:

Like all GP training stakeholders, GPSA regards Rural Generalism and its aim of providing more GPs for rural and remote Australia as a high priority. However, we feel it important that any proposed single employer model be thoroughly analysed, not only for the benefit for registrars, but also the impact on general practices, supervisors and practice managers. GPSA wrote to Minister Hunt in October to give him some detail on GP supervisor and registrar earnings and practice costs. We also pointed out some of the risks of a single employer model that need to be considered before implementation.

A copy of this letter was sent to other GP stakeholders in the interests of full disclosure and to offer the opportunity for feedback.

While highlighting the potential risks has been uncomfortable for some. Our intent in writing this letter was to represent the views of our stakeholders – supervisors, GP practices involved in GP training, practice managers and support staff.

It is imperative general practices that train registrars are not left disadvantaged by a single employer model, whether that be financially or otherwise.

We would appreciate feedback from our rural and remote members as to your thoughts.

Please email glen.wallace@gpsupervisorsaustralia.org.au

New board member

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Leonie Chamberlain to the GPSA board. Leonie is an experienced practice manager and accountant (CPA) and makes our board truly representative of GP training practices.

UGPA meeting

I also represented GPSA at a recent United General Practice Association (UGPA) meeting. AMA, ACRRM, RDAA, GPSA and GPRA are members. RACGP has a standing invitation to join the group. Issues discussed include Rural Generalism, the single employer model, 10-year primary healthcare plan (being developed by Department Health) and over seventies and chronic care.

Yours in GP training,

Dr Gerard Connors
Chair,
GP Supervisors Australia