Queensland Health has called on GPs to help out in the state’s regional and rural maternity wards to address workforce shortages.
With a significant number of obstetrics and anaesthetics positions in regional and rural public hospitals across Queensland vacant, Queensland Health asked the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) for support.
RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins encouraged GPs with capacity and qualifications in anaesthetics and obstetrics to consider putting their hand up.
“Women and their families are suffering due to the closures and reduced access to birthing services in Queensland.” she said.
“As a GP who holds advanced skills in O&G and who lives in regional Queensland, I have already touched base with my local hospital to ask how general practice and birthing services can better work together.
“GPs are under significant workforce pressures in rural and regional areas but this an opportunity for GPs to work to top of scope
“Women’s health is a core GP skill, and many GPs have done additional training in anaesthetics and obstetrics.
“If you are a GP with the qualifications and capacity to help in our state’s hospitals in this challenging time, I encourage you to register with Queensland Health.
“The need to address the workforce shortages in Queensland’s maternity wards is urgent, and more GPs could help if they were supported to upskill.
“Queensland Health and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZGOG) should look at upskilling opportunities for GPs with RANZGOG diplomas that are not current, so they can help the state’s maternity services.
“The RACGP will also work with the Queensland Health Maternity Medical Working Group to look at other medium to long term initiatives to enable GPs to assist in the Queensland maternal health sector.”
Queensland members of the RACGP with these qualifications were sent an email with the request and registration instructions this week.
The call is open to GPs with additional qualifications:
- Diploma of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (DRANZCOG)
- DRANZCOG Advanced
- Diploma of Rural Generalist Anaesthesia or equivalent qualification in anaesthetics.