Australia’s largest representative body of rural and remote general practitioners, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has today welcomed the Australian Government’s $27 million boost to establish Rural Coordination Units to support GPs in training.
Located in each State and Territory, the Rural Coordination Units will work closely with the health sector to develop strong links between hospital and primary care networks for the Rural Generalist Pathway.
The RACGP has been consulting closely with the Australian Government on the Rural Generalist Pathway, which is developing the skilled GP workforce that rural and remote communities need.
The coordination units are an essential component of the pathway and are also the result of consultations between the RACGP, Australian Government and other medical and rural stakeholders.
Vice President of the RACGP and Chair of RACGP Rural, A/Professor Ayman Shenouda, welcomed the investment.
“I welcome the government’s investment to establish Rural Coordination Units – this is an important step towards rolling out the National Rural Generalist Pathway, which the RACGP has been deeply involved in.
“This is setting the foundations to build a skilled GP workforce for rural and remote communities, it will help get more GPs out to the bush to care for patients who need them.”
A/Professor Shenouda said it was important to highlight the many positives of being a GP in a rural or remote area.
“Being based in a rural or remote area is an incredibly rewarding experience. I often tell medical students that if you train in a rural area you will get to know the patients you treat and find the local community very welcoming.
“Working in a rural area also offers great variety for GPs, you could be helping a patient manage a chronic condition in the morning and delivering a baby in the afternoon.
“If we highlight the positives of being a GP in a rural area, we can help attract more GPs in training to work and live in the communities that need them.”
A/Professor Shenouda said the RACGP would continue working closely with the government and Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton to develop the Rural Generalist Pathway and help attract more GPs to train, work and live in rural and remote communities.
“The RACGP has more than 41,000 members and more than 9,500 of them live and work in rural and remote areas – we are committed to supporting GPs outside of major cities and building the rural GP workforce.
“Every community across Australia deserves access to highly skilled and trained GPs and the RACGP will continue to work closely with the Australian Government to make that happen.”