30 May 2014
United General Practice Australia (UGPA) calls on the Federal Government to urgently consult with the general practice profession regarding its plan to abolish General Practice Education and Training (GPET), consolidate its functions into the Department of Health (DoH) and cease the Prevocational General Practice Placements (PGPPP) Scheme.
The Government’s plan poses serious risks to general practice training including: loss of general practice education expertise for the delivery of training; disengagement of supervisors; withdrawal of teaching practices and reduced appeal of general practice as a career. Planned reforms to general practice financing may also discourage practices from employing registrars.
UGPA this week announced the plan, including the very short implementation timeframes, pose a significant risk to the viability of the general practice profession and access to quality care for all Australians.
The DoH has no experience in facilitating general practice training. The decision to put the general practice training program out to tender risks a decision being made on price, rather than quality and the long term interests of the patients.
UGPA unanimously agreed that general practice training must be profession-led and apprenticeship based. Additionally, all accreditation functionalities should remain with specialist medical colleges with a focus on quality training and geographical distribution.
UGPA agreed that college-led training must continue towards a Fellowship end point, noting specialist medical colleges are the only organisations able to set standards for training, recognised under law.
UGPA are calling on the Federal Government to establish a formal consultative mechanism that ensures strong GP engagement to manage the transition process and provide advice on future training arrangements, ensuring a stable primary healthcare future for the general practice profession and for the health of all Australians.