The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has signed a milestone contract with the federal Health Department to deliver GP training in Australia from 1st February 2023.
It is the largest medical vocational training contract entered into in history by an Australian Government.
The signing of the contract comes after the transition of GP training back to Australia’s specialist medical colleges, the RACGP and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), was announced in October 2017 by then federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.
RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price welcomed the signing of the contract.
“This is a key milestone in the transition to profession-led training, and the transition toward an even stronger future for GP education and training in Australia,” she said.
“We have signed the single largest medical vocational contract entered into in history by an Australia Government, which signals successive governments’ trust in the College’s capability to deliver high quality GP training for our community.
“Just as general practice is integral to our health system, GP training is fundamentally important to provide our next generation of GPs, who will care for our communities into the future.
“At a time when Australia is battling the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic alongside rising rates of chronic disease, an ageing population and mental health crisis, general practice has never been more important.
“The College recognises the privilege and responsibility entrusted in us and we are committed to delivering a program that equips all stakeholders, including our GP supervisors, registrars, administrators and medical educators to provide world-class training.”
The RACGP President said the new training program would be nationally managed and supported and locally delivered.
“We are well-aware that existing local teams are crucial to the success of GP training, including our local regional training organisation colleagues, local supervisors, administrators and of course registrars – and they will remain so under our leadership,” she said.
The RACGP’s CEO Paul Wappett has encouraged regional training organisation staff to consider employment with the College pointing out that, in many instances, those staff who do join the RACGP will continue the same work, with the same stakeholders.
“We are working to make this a seamless transition, with as little disruption to the delivery of GP training as possible.
“We are also working closely with numerous stakeholders to make this happen, including the Department of Health, peak bodies representing GP supervisors and registrars, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation or NACCHO, rural workforce agencies and clinical schools, primary health networks, state health organisations, local hospitals and community health services, the list goes on.
“Although this is one of the most complex mergers that will happen in Australia this year, given that we are merging nine organisations into one, I am proud to see the progress we have all made, and I look forward to continuing to work together to deliver world-class GP training, and to secure the future of primary care in Australia.
“Because everyone in Australia deserves access to world-class general practice care, no matter their postcode.”
The transition to profession-led training will create a new nationally managed and supported, and locally delivered program of general practice training. The model will be community-focused and built on a foundation of high-quality medical educators, training managers, supervisors, and training sites. The transition will enhance the experience for registrars and provide high quality general practice care for communities Australia-wide. It will deliver a sustainable pipeline of competent, and confident GPs and rural generalists.