10 November 2023

Consultation for Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialist field closes in four weeks – have your say

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) are encouraging doctors and community members to have their say on the public consultation for Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialist field by Tuesday 12 December.

ACRRM and the RACGP have combined forces to support the recognition of rural generalism as a specialist field within the discipline of general practice. The Rural Generalist Recognition Taskforce, which is chaired by the National Rural Health Commissioner Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart and includes senior College representatives, is driving the application.

ACRRM President Dr Dan Halliday says rural generalism recognition will create a single national Rural Generalist quality standard which is transparent, safe, purpose-designed, and easily understood by systems, patients, and doctors.

“A Rural Generalist is a General Practitioner who has a specific set of skills and expertise in providing medical care for rural and remote or isolated communities,” he said.

“They understand and respond to the diverse needs of rural communities, providing safe primary, secondary and emergency care, specialised medical care in at least one additional discipline, and they are enabled to care on-country.

“This is an attractive rural career option for doctors who train to this skills set are for more likely to stay on and work in rural and remote communities. The Rural Generalist qualifications offer a viable career for doctors wanting to go rural and are interested in both general practice and more specialised care.

RACGP Rural Chair Associate Professor Michael Clements said the consultation is the last critical milestone in the rural generalism recognition process prior to its final assessment and determination.

“The consultation will close in four weeks. So, there is still time for GPs and Rural Generalists and community members across Australia to review the application and provide their independent feedback,” he said.

“It’s particularly important that rural, remote and First Nations Peoples contribute their input, as this is a key area of focus. These are also the communities that rural generalism is designed to serve.”

At the conclusion of the national consultation, the Australian Medical Council (AMC) will provide advice to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) that will in turn provide advice to the Health Minister’s Committee for final determination.

The public consultation paper which includes instructions on how to make a submission, can be found on the MBA website News page, under current consultations (www.medicalboard.gov.au/News/Current-Consultations).

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact John Ronan, Ally Francis and Stuart Winthrope via: