Latest news


Catch up on the latest Rural Procedural Grants Program news from our bi-monthly Rural Procedural Grants Program newsletter and more.


Rural Procedural Grants Newsletter, August 2021

In this issue:


The latest news

Online portal update

We hope you’re all getting the hang of the new online claims portal, and we’d like to thank you for continuing to send in your feedback and highlighting areas that could be tweaked to make it more user-friendly. We’ve listened and plan to make some improvements in the next month to improve your experience.

We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on using the portal (see below). Please take a look at these and the online claims guide to help you navigate the claims process.

We’d like to thank you again for your patience during the transition to the online claims process. We’re working our way through the claims submitted in July and will be back on track soon to provide you with a faster turnaround time. If you’re waiting on anything urgent, please let us know so we can assist you.

The RPGP team is here to help, so call us on 1800 636 764 or email rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au if you’re having trouble with your online access, or if you have any feedback to share with us.


Online portal FAQs

We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions we receive about the online portal.

Q: The form asks me for my account number. Is this my RACGP number?

A: No, your RPGP account number is not the same as your RACGP number. You were sent an email on 1 June 2021 with your RPGP account number. The temporary answer to your security question is your surname with the first letter capitalised, unless you enrolled in the program after we launched the online portal, in which case you would have set this up yourself.


Q: I registered to access the online portal a while ago and now I want to apply for a grant. Where do I find the log-in page?

A: Visit the RPGP website. Scroll down and click on the ‘Make a claim’ button, which will take you to the log in page. We recommend you bookmark this link in your internet browser or add it to your favourite pages so you can easily find it next time.


Q: My claim was rejected, and I need further information. What should I do?

A: Log in to the online portal, open ‘My tasks’ and you’ll see your grant application. To resubmit your claim, open the claim, attach the requested information and submit. You don’t have to fill it all out again.


Q: How do I update my details?

A: Email your new details to us at rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au


Q: Can I put all my claims on the same form?

A: No, you need to complete one form for each claim linked to one component of the program.


Q: I’ve sent in several claims and one was rejected. How do I know which one it was?

A: The rejection notice will have a task number on it. You’ll be able to see your completed claims under ‘My tasks’ in the online portal and that will show you what has been approved.


Update your information

We can’t approve your grant application if we don’t have your current employment information. Many credentialing letters (scope of practice) expired on 30 June 2021.

Once your credentials or clinical privileges have expired, email us the updated document along with a roster with your name listed on it and a contract saying you’re employed to provide emergency, obstetric, anaesthetic or surgical services.


New team member

Simone Low photo

We’d like to warmly welcome Simone Low who has started as our new Rural Education Officer for the RPGP.

Simone is based in Townsville, Queensland, and will be up to speed very soon and ready to assist you.


Tax time

The Department of Health has advised that grant payments don’t include GST, so you should retain your payment advice for tax requirements.

Incentive payments must be declared for tax purposes, and we advise you to seek advice from your financial advisor, accountant or the Australian Taxation Office regarding tax arrangements.


Online training

We’re pleased to let you know the current RPGP COVID-19 flexibilities that allow online training have been extended to 31 December 2021.

This means you can continue claiming costs for a limited number of online procedural or emergency medicine CPD activities, at a rate of $1000 per day.

Don’t forget that online training must fit the criteria for a grant and is subject to the following caps:

Emergency medicine

3 days

Emergency mental health

3 days

Procedural component

10 days


Upcoming courses

We encourage you to check with us whether an emergency mental health training course is approved for a grant. Some courses don’t have enough emergency/acute context or content so it’s best to check before registering if you’d like to claim a grant.

Although these events are currently scheduled to go ahead (with strict COVID-19 hygiene principles in place), refer to up-to-date government guidelines prior to attending. Delivery format and dates may be subject to change. Your health and wellbeing always come first.

Face-to-face

Course name

Date/location

Grant approved

Advanced life support

Saturday 28 August or Sunday 29 August 2021

1 day emergency or anaesthetic

Emergency ultrasound for rural and remote medicine

Wednesday to Friday
1–3 September 2021
Victoria

Approved for 3 days all categories excluding mental health

Acute mental health for rural GPs

Saturday 18 September 2021
South Australia

1 day emergency mental health

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound (Bendigo)

Saturday 2 October or Sunday 3 October 2021
Victoria

1 day all categories

WA ACE Country Conference

Friday to Sunday
29–31 October 2021
Western Australia

1 day anaesthetic

Rural emergency medicine workshop

Friday to Sunday
8–10 October 2021
Queensland

1 day emergency

Ultrasound in rural medicine

Monday to Wednesday
11–13 October 2021
Queensland

3 days emergency all categories excluding mental health

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound (Cairns)

Saturday 16 October 2021
Queensland

1 day all categories

Advanced procedures workshop

Thursday 21 October 2021
Western Australia

1 day surgery

Managing skin and soft tissue injuries workshop

Friday 29 October 2021
Western Australia

1 day emergency

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound (Busselton)

Saturday 27 November 2021
Western Australia

1 day all categories

Focused cardiac ultrasound workshop

Various states/dates

2 days all categories excluding mental health


Online

Course name

Date

Grant approved

The cardiac bootcamp self-study course

At your own pace

3 days emergency

Emergencies in general practice

Wednesday 1 September 2021

1 day emergency

Online fetal surveillance education program

At your own pace

1 day obstetrics

Advanced life support

At your own pace

1 day emergency or anaesthetic

LearnEM online courses

At your own pace

Dependant on course

CT – Acute medical and surgical interpretation essentials online

At your own pace

3 days all components

Emergency radiology course

At your own pace

2 days emergency

Perinatal training program

At your own pace

Obstetrics, dependant on modules completed

neoResus

At your own pace

1 day obstetric emergency and anaesthetics

Perioperative

At your own pace

Dependant on course

ABCDs of acute behavioural emergencies

At your own pace

2 days emergency mental health


Rural Procedural Grants Newsletter, June 2021

In this issue:


The latest news

End-of-financial-year claims

As we approach the end of the financial year, we’d like to remind you of the claims rules for the Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP). You can claim for the current financial year and the previous financial year, but nothing beyond that.

Your claims must be entered online before Wednesday 30 June 2021. Please remember that this is our busiest time of the year, and it may take some time for us to approve and pay your claim. We’re experiencing a backlog of claims and are working our way through these. We’ll get to your claim as soon as we can.


Online claims portal

The RACGP has launched an online portal to make it easier for you to access the program and submit your claims.

RPGP participants who are using the portal tell us it’s intuitive, time-saving and easy to use, so we encourage you to start using it. We’re no longer able to manually submit claims for you and can’t accept any claims sent via email.

The RPGP team is here to help, so call us on 1800 636 764 or email rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au if you’re having trouble with your online access. We’ll walk you through the steps to log in and make a claim.


Rejected claims

The main reason a claim is rejected is because we have incorrect information on file, so please ensure your information is up to date.

Locums

Supply evidence you’ve completed 28 days per financial year prior to claiming.

Permanent contracts

Email us with:

  • the name and address of your current practice
  • a credentialing letter stating your unsupervised clinical privileges, scope of practice and the duration of credentialing
  • a letter of employment stating the services you’re employed to provide (emergency/anaesthetic/obstetric or surgery) and the duration of the contract
  • an on-call roster with your name listed.

If we don’t have the correct information, we’ll have to reject your claim until we receive more information. You can resubmit the same claim as soon as you’ve emailed us your updated details. You don’t need to complete the form again.


Viewing historical transactions

If you want to see your past claims, look for the My Transactions button next to the claim form when you log in to the RPGP online portal. You can open your list of transactions and use the filter to search for all of your claims to date.

Please note that we’ve identified a glitch in the system, and we’re working to rectify it quickly. As an example, if you ticked all the components of the program when making a claim for an emergency grant, the results would list your claim against any component, even though you entered the number of days under the component you wanted to use. We’ll fix these records and change the way you’re able to select the component you want to put the training against.

Remember you can only make one claim per component.


Supervised clinical attachments

Once you’ve completed your supervised clinical attachment, you’ll need to upload a letter from your hospital or a completed supervised clinical attachment supporting evidence form.

The information should contain:

  • the hours and dates you were at your teaching hospital
  • signatures and contact details for your supervisor
  • a summary of what you were learning.

Please clearly outline your learning objectives, educational exposure and learning outcomes.

  • Learning objective: A general statement about what you wanted to learn throughout the attachment.
  • Learning outcomes: A specific statement describing exactly what measurable skills and abilities you’ve developed.

RPGP: Did you know?

Updated program guidelines

New program guidelines took effect from 1 January 2021. These guidelines provide information on all of the updated eligibility requirements for the program and supersede the 2011 guidelines.

The key reforms are as follows:

  • Modified Monash Model (MMM) categories 3–7 have been adopted.
  • Locums must conduct their placements in MMM 3–7 areas to be eligible for the program. 
  • You must be on a training pathway to Fellowship or already a Fellow (vocationally registered) of either the RACGP or ACCRM.
  • Principal clinical practice must be physically located in a MMM 3–7 region.

Check your location to confirm if you’re still eligible.


Upcoming courses

Upcoming courses – Face-to-face

Note: Online training courses will no longer be eligible from 30 June 2021.

Although these events are currently scheduled to go ahead (with strict COVID-19 hygiene principles in place), refer to up-to-date government guidelines prior to attending. Delivery format and dates may be subject to change. Your health and wellbeing always come first.

Course name

Date, location

Grant approved

Paediatric trauma

Complete before
Wednesday 30 June 2021
Online

One day, emergency

Focused cardiac ultrasound

Saturday and Sunday
10–11‌ July 2021
Canberra ACT

Two days, all domains

Advanced resuscitation and life support

Friday 16 July 2021
Sydney NSW

One day, anaesthetic or emergency

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound – Toowoomba

Saturday 17 July
Toowoomba QLD

One day, all domains

Obstetric and gynaecological ultrasound

Monday to Friday
19–23‌ July 2021
Broadbeach QLD

Two days, emergency

Trauma workshop

Saturday and Sunday
24–25‌ July 2021
Cairns QLD

Two days, emergency

Obstetric emergencies

Friday 6 August 2021
Kununurra WA

One day, obstetric or emergency

Focused cardiac ultrasound

Saturday and Sunday
7–8‌ August 2021
Melbourne VIC

Two days, all domains

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound – Port Lincoln

Saturday 7 August 2021
Port Lincoln SA

One day, all domains

Advanced resuscitation and life support

Friday 13 August 2021
Sydney NSW

One day, anaesthetic or emergency

Critical airway and respiratory management

Friday 13 August 2021
Kalgoorlie WA

One day, anaesthetic or emergency

Cardiac emergency management

Saturday 14 August 2021
Kalgoorlie WA

One day, emergency

Rural emergency advanced clinical training

Saturday and Sunday
21–22‌ August 2021
Esperance WA

Two days, emergency or anaesthetic

NSW Rural Doctors Network 2021 Anaesthetics Procedural Conference

Friday and Saturday
20–21‌ August 2021
North Sydney NSW

Two days, anaesthetic

Emergency ultrasound for rural and remote medicine

Wednesday to Friday
1–3‌ September 2021
Greensborough VIC

Two days, all domains

Introduction to obstetrics

Wednesday and Thursday
3–4‌ November 2021
Broadbeach QLD

Three days, all domains

Core obstetric ultrasound

Monday and Tuesday
13–14‌ December 2021
Greensborough VIC

Two days, all domains

This program is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.


Rural Procedural Grants Newsletter, May 2021

Vale, Cheryl Shepley

Cheryl Shepley, our valued RACGP Rural faculty team member, unexpectedly passed away two weeks ago after some health-related issues.

Cheryl joined the RACGP’s Rural team in June 2013, initially supporting the Rural Council before moving into a key role delivering the Rural Procedural Grants Program.

From the South Australia faculty office, Cheryl has worked closely with members, staff and external stakeholders; all Cheryl’s roles have been member facing.

Cheryl was calm, kind and could always find a solution to any problem. She was a loved member of the Rural and SA faculty teams and she will be missed.

If you have any stories of Cheryl you’d like to share, please email them to rural@racgp.org.au and we'll pass them on to her family.

During this time it may take us a bit longer to get back to you. We appreciate your patience and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

Best regards,

Chris Kyranis

Manager – RACGP Rural

In this issue:


The latest news

RPGP online system

The RACGP has launched an online portal to make it easier for you to access the program and submit your claims. We’d like to thank you for your continued patience as we work to transition to the new system.

The RPGP team is here to help set up your account and log in. If you haven’t accessed the system yet, please call us on 1800 636 764 between 8.30 am – 4.00 pm AEST from Monday to Friday and ensure that you can access your email via your computer or device. We only need five minutes to help you log in.

We’ll email you the details while you’re on the phone and walk you through the steps to log in and access the online portal.

RPGP participants who are using the system are telling us that it’s intuitive, time-saving and easy to use, so we encourage you to get in touch with us to get started with the portal.


Making a claim

You will need an account number to submit a claim for training in the new online portal. We recently sent you your account number by email. Please take note of this number and save it for use during the online claims process.

The temporary answer to your security question is your surname. You will be required to set a new security question for future use.

We have also created a user guide for the claims process to help you navigate the new system.

Download the online claim guide


Historical transactions: Are you in an MMM 1–2 location?

If yes, you’re no longer eligible to participate in the RPGP. However, you have until 30 June 2021 to claim for training undertaken from 1 July 2020 to 1 January 2021. You can consider some locum work in these areas to maintain your registration.

Find more information regarding the criteria on our website, or you can give us a call and we’ll talk you through it. You can go to the Department of Health website to check the Health Workforce classification for your area.


Supervised clinical attachments

Once you’ve completed your supervised clinical attachment, you’ll need to upload a letter from your hospital or a completed supervised clinical attachment supporting evidence form.

The information should contain:

  • the hours and dates you were at your teaching hospital
  • signatures and contact details for your supervisor
  • a summary of what you were learning.

Please clearly outline your learning objectives, educational exposure and learning outcomes.

Learning objective: A general statement about what you wanted to learn throughout the attachment.

Learning outcomes: A specific statement describing exactly what measurable skills and abilities you’ve developed.


Go beyond with Practice to Practice

The RACGP has launched a pilot program to connect general practices in diverse geographical areas. And we’re looking for more participants from urban and rural Australia to jump onboard.

Practice to Practice connects urban and rural practices in an effort to grow locum pools, increase peer support, enhance professional development and provide a greater service offering for patients.

The program encourages you to go beyond your everyday and try life and work in a different practice setting.

General practices all over Australia can participate in Practice to Practice. Whether you’re based in an urban, regional, rural or remote area, the program has benefits for you, your team and your patient community. The RACGP will help find you a ‘match’ in a region quite different to your own, and you’ll have the opportunity to tailor the partnership to get what you want out of it.

Though the program is designed to link practices, it can also help individual GPs connect with a practice in a different area.

Places for our pilot program are limited, so visit the RACGP Practice to Practice website to register your interest.

Register your interest


RPGP: Did you know?

  1. If your documents are not up to date, then we can’t approve your claim. You’ll need to provide the following:
    • The current name and address of your practice
    • A credentialing letter stating your unsupervised clinical privileges and scope of practice, the duration of credentialing and an on call roster
  2. You can’t claim for musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound training. Any MSK training should be approved by the RPGP team before you start the course.

Upcoming courses

Upcoming courses – Face-to-face

Although these events are currently scheduled to go ahead (with strict COVID-19 hygiene principles in place), refer to up-to-date government guidelines prior to attending. Delivery format and dates may be subject to change. Your health and wellbeing always come first.

Course name

Date, location

Grant approved

2021 Anaesthetics Procedural Conference

14–15 May 2021

Sydney NSW

Two days, anaesthetics

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound – Coffs Harbour

Saturday 15 May 2021

One day, all domains

Emergency paediatrics

15–16 May 2021

Gold Coast QLD

One day, emergency

Advanced paediatric life support

19–21 May 2021

Alice Springs NT

Three days, all domains

Toxicological emergencies

21 May 2021

Albany WA

One day, emergency

Western trauma course

19 June 2021

Northam WA

One day, emergency

Emergency trauma management course

Multiple locations and dates

One day, emergency

Rural emergency advanced clinical training (REACT+)

26–27 June 2021

Geraldton WA

Two days, emergency

Emergency ultrasound for rural and remote medicine

28–30 June 2021

Melbourne VIC

Three days, all domains

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound – Toowoomba

Saturday 17 July 2021

Toowoomba QLD

One day, all domains

Introduction to point-of-care ultrasound – Port Lincoln

Saturday 7 August 2021

Port Lincoln SA

One day, all domains


Upcoming courses – Digital

Course

Format, location

Grant approved

LearnEM courses

Multiple options, online

Grant dependent on course

Cardiac bootcamp self-study course

At your own pace, online

Three days, emergency

Trauma radiology

At your own pace, online

Two days, emergency or surgery

Ultrasound – Medical and surgical online

At your own pace, online

Two days, all components excluding emergency mental health

Ultrasound – Critical care online

At your own pace, online

Two days, all components excluding emergency mental health

Fetal surveillance education program

Online

One day, obstetric

Advanced life support course

Six hours online, plus virtual clinical assessment

One day, emergency or anaesthetic

Perinatal training program

At your own pace, online

Obstetrics grant dependent on modules completed

neoResus

3–5 hours online

One day, obstetric, emergency and anaesthetics

ABCDs of acute behavioural emergencies

At your own pace, online

Two days, emergency mental health

This program is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.


Rural Procedural Grants – February 2021 update

In this issue:


The latest news

Online system

We’re making the final adjustments to our new online system, which will be going live in the near future. You’ll receive an email with your login number and instructions on using the system. We’ll also put these instructions on our website. For those of you who aren’t fans of technology, don’t be alarmed – the system is very user friendly.

Features of the system include the ability to retrieve statements for tax and a list of your claims for a financial year.

The RPGP team is here to help. Please contact us if you have any questions about the new system.


Online training

The revised COVID-19 eligibility arrangements for claiming RPGP support for online CPD activities will remain in place until 30 June 2021. We’d like to remind you that any online training must be completed by this date.

Online activities must be for a minimum of four hours and be related to the component/s you’re registered in, be interactive, include an assessment component and include a certificate of completion.


Emergency mental health

As a new RPGP component, emergency mental health is still evolving and more courses are becoming available. RACGP and ACRRM are working together to determine the appropriate definitions and acceptable training and we’ll continue to keep you updated on this. In the meantime, if you find any courses you’re interested in, you’re welcome to send us a copy of the program and we’ll let you know if it’s eligible for an emergency mental health grant.

Please consider a supervised clinical attachment option in an acute inpatient mental health unit. These services provide voluntary and involuntary short-term inpatient management and treatment during an acute phase of mental illness, until the person has recovered enough to be treated effectively and safely in the community. These services are located within acute general hospitals. If you do consider a clinical attachment, please send us a copy of your learning objectives prior to starting the attachment so we can assess its eligibility for an emergency mental health grant.


Go beyond with Practice to Practice

Launching in early March 2021, the RACGP’s Practice to Practice program links practices in different Modified Monash Model areas and encourages a mutually beneficial relationship to develop between them. Participating practices will enjoy opportunities for coaching and mentoring, chances to locum, exposure to different skills and services, peer-to-peer support and problem solving, and remote telehealth workforce support. Each relationship will differ depending on the needs of the practices.

Find out what it’s like to work in a different location, experience the challenges and access mentoring/training, all while receiving peer support from GPs in these communities. Working in another location boosts your professional development and opens up new career possibilities. It’s your chance to make a difference to rural and remote health outcomes.

Register your interest


Women in rural health: Share your views

RACGP Rural is seeking your views on professional, personal and community factors that influence women in rural general practice, including barriers faced while working and living in rural or remote communities or considering a rural career.

Women in rural general practice can be both doctors and carers and require good support, services and networks.

Historically, female doctors in Australia have been outnumbered by males, and this still rings true in rural communities. Women are also poorly represented in Australia's rural medical workforce. Rural communities require a gender balance to provide appropriate access to care, and lower rates of female doctors in rural areas means it’s often difficult for female patients to see a female GP.

More advocacy and support initiatives tailored to the needs of female GPs are required to sustain and grow our workforce. Please take our short survey to help identify priorities for action, consider potential solutions and determine how we can better support women in rural general practice, now and in the future.

Dr Renee Strazzari

Deputy Chair, RACGP Rural

Take the survey


RPGP: Did you know?

Existing funding and eligibility

If you’ve already received funding from the Commonwealth, State or Territory government for a training program, it will not be eligible for a Rural Procedural Grant.


Supervised clinical attachments

A supervised clinical attachment must be a minimum of six hours in a clinical or a hospital setting. Your aim should be to either learn new specific skills or update your specific skills and knowledge.

Supervised clinical attachments must be an educational training activity. The training must not be a day that you’re remunerated for. The grant is a contribution towards expenses related to attending the continuing professional development (CPD) activity and is not expected to cover the entire cost of the CPD activity and associated expenses.


Upcoming courses

Upcoming courses – Face-to-face

From January 2021, training held outside Australia won’t be approved for grants.

Although the following events are currently scheduled to go ahead (with strict COVID-19 hygiene protocols in place), refer to up-to-date government guidelines prior to attending. Delivery format and dates may be subject to change. Your health and wellbeing always come first.

Course

Date/ location

Grant approved

Rural and remote emergency medicine skills workshop

 

12–14 February 2021

Perth WA

2 days, emergency medicine

De-escalating conflict and aggression

18 February or 4 May 2021 Subiaco WA

1 day, emergency mental health

Rural emergency medicine forum

20–21 February 2021

Perth WA

1 day, emergency, dependent on sessions

Basic and advanced life support

26–27 February 2021

Brisbane QLD

2 days, emergency and anaesthetics

CTEC’s The cutting edge: Introductory GP wound suturing workshop

26 February 2021

Perth WA

1 day, surgery

Fetal surveillance education program

27 February 2021

Sydney NSW

1 day, obstetrics

Focused cardiac ultrasound workshop

6–7 March 2021

Hobart TAS

2 days, obstetrics, emergency, anaesthetic and surgery

Paediatric advanced life support

 

14 March 2021

Sydney NSW

3 days, emergency or anaesthetic grant

FPAA certificate in reproductive and sexual health for doctors

15–19 March 2021 Northbridge WA

5 days, obstetrics

Ultrasound in rural medicine

 

22–26 March 2021

Broadbeach QLD

3 days, emergency and 5 days, obstetrics, anaesthetic or surgery

Ultrasound in rural medicine core

22–24 March 2021 Broadbeach QLD

3 days, emergency, obstetrics, anaesthetic or surgery

Basic and advanced life support

26–27 March 2021

Brisbane QLD

2 days, emergency and anaesthetics

RANZCOG diplomates day

7 April 2021

Darwin NT

1 day, obstetrics

RANZCOG fetal surveillance education program

8 April 2021

Darwin NT

1 day, obstetrics

CTEC’s The cutting edge: Managing skin and soft tissue injuries workshop

14 May 2021

Crawley WA

1 day, emergency or surgery

Focused cardiac ultrasound workshop

15–16 May 2021

Adelaide SA

2 days, obstetrics, emergency, anaesthetic and surgery

Mental health emergencies

16 August 2021

Cairns QLD

1 day, emergency mental health

Emergency trauma management course

Multiple 2021

3 days, emergency, anaesthetic or surgery


Upcoming courses – Digital

Course

Format, location

Grant approved

LearnEM courses

Multiple options, online

Grant dependent on course

Cardiac bootcamp self-study course

At your own pace, online

Three days, emergency

 

Trauma radiology

At your own pace, online

Two days, emergency or surgery

Ultrasound – Medical and surgical online

At your own pace, online

Two days, all components excluding emergency mental health

Ultrasound – Critical care online

At your own pace, online

Two days, all components excluding emergency mental health

Fetal surveillance education program

Online

One day, obstetric

Advanced life support course

Six hours online, plus virtual clinical assessment

One day, emergency or anaesthetic

Perinatal training program

At your own pace, online

Obstetrics grant dependent on modules completed

neoResus

3–5 hours online

One day, obstetric, emergency and anaesthetics

ABCDs of acute behavioural emergencies

At your own pace, online

Two days, emergency mental health

This program is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.


Rural Procedural Grants – December update

In this issue:


Season’s greetings

We wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a COVID-free new year!

Stay safe over this festive season. We acknowledge and appreciate those who have to work over during this period, and hope your rural or remote community remains safe and healthy.


RACGP end-of-year closure

The RACGP offices will be closed over the Christmas and new year period from Monday 21 December 2020. All offices will re-open on Monday 4 January 2021.

When we re-open next year, we’ll likely have a backlog of enquiries, applications and claims, so we ask for your patience as we aim to respond to all enquiries as soon as possible.


End-of-year claims

We encourage you to submit any claims to rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au before Sunday 13 December 2020. Any claims sent in after that date won’t be processed until after 4 January 2021.

Depending on the volume of last-minute claims, we can’t guarantee your claim submission will meet the 14 December payment run. Please ensure all your information is complete for a seamless process. You can continue to submit your claims after the cut-off date, but we’ll only be able to release payments from mid-January 2021.


Eligibility update: MMM 3–7

From 1 January 2021, only GPs providing services in MMM 3–7 locations will be eligible for the Rural Procedural Grants Program. Participants will have six months to submit claims for training completed from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.


Eligibility update: Registrars

The Department of Health has confirmed that registrars on a GP fellowship pathway will remain eligible for the Rural Procedural Grants Program. The decision to restrict the program to vocationally registered GPs has been revised.

Revised guidelines for the program will take effect from 1 January 2021, which include new eligibility criteria for participants and training. Take some time to read about the changes on the RACGP website.


Credentialing update

We have a backlog of claims awaiting updated credential documents. We need to make sure you’re still eligible for the program by sighting your scope of practice and confirming your documents are current.

Some participants have been issued with interim credentials due to COVID-19; if that’s the case, please forward your interim documents to rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au  

As always when you forward credentials, please include a current on-call roster to maintain your enrolment in the program.


Reminder: 2021 locum placements

As a GP locum, you must provide on-call services in a MMM 3–7 area to be eligible for the program.


Upcoming courses – Face-to-face

From January 2021, training held outside Australia won’t be approved for grants.

Although the following events are currently scheduled to go ahead (with strict COVID-19 hygiene protocols in place), refer to up-to-date government guidelines prior to attending. Delivery format and dates may be subject to change. Your health and wellbeing always come first.

Course name

Date, location

Grant approved

CTEC the cutting edge: Advanced hand surgery for GPs

16 December 2020, Perth WA

1 day surgery

CTEC the cutting edge: Advanced procedures workshop

17 December 2020, Perth WA

1 day surgery

Paediatric advanced life support

20 December 2020, Brisbane QLD

1 day all domains

Advanced life support level 1

28 January 2021, Canberra ACT

1 days emergency medicine or anaesthetics

Focused cardiac ultrasound workshop

Multiple 2021 dates and venues

1 days emergency medicine or anaesthetics

Paediatric emergencies and clinical healthcare scenarios (PEaCHS)

5 February 2021, Denmark WA

1 days emergency medicine and anaesthetics

Advanced life support level 1

11 February 2021, Sydney NSW

1 day emergency or anaesthetic

Rural emergency medicine

12–14 February 2021, Brisbane QLD

2 days emergency medicine, anaesthetics and obstetrics

Basic and advanced life support

12–13 February 2021, Melbourne VIC

2 days emergency and anaesthetics

Rural & remote emergency medicine skills workshop

13–14 February 2021, Albany WA

2 days emergency medicine

Paediatric advanced life support

14 February 2021, Melbourne VIC

1 day all domains

Advanced life support 2 recertification

24 February 2021, Adelaide SA

1 day emergency and anaesthetics

CTEC the cutting edge: Introductory GP wound suturing workshop

26 February 2021, Perth WA

1 day surgery

Advanced life support level 2

27–28 February 2021, Adelaide SA

2 days emergency and anaesthetics

Emergency trauma management course

Multiple 2021 dates and venues

2 days emergency medicine

Neonatal emergency care (NEC)

4–5 March 2021, Geraldton WA

1 day emergency and obstetric

Emergency airway skills management (EAM)

12 March 2021, Busselton WA

1 day anaesthetics and emergency

Trauma team simulation training

27 March 2021, Perth WA

1 day emergency or anaesthetic

Emergency cardiology

27–28 March 2021, Brisbane QLD

2 days emergency medicine

Obstetric emergencies

30 April 2021, Bridgetown WA

1 day obstetric


Upcoming courses – Digital

Course name

Format, location

Grant approved

LearnEM courses

Multiple options, online

Grant dependent on course

Cardiac bootcamp self-study course

At your own pace, online

3 days emergency

Trauma radiology

At your own pace, online

2 days emergency or surgery

Ultrasound – Medical and surgical online

At your own pace, online

2 days, all components

Ultrasound – Critical care online

At your own pace, online

2 days, all components

Fetal Surveillance Education Program

Online

1 day obstetric

Advanced life support course

6 hours online plus virtual clinical assessment

1 day emergency or anaesthetic

Perinatal training program

At your own pace, online

Obstetrics grant dependent on modules completed

neoResus

3–5 hours online

1 day obstetric, emergency and anaesthetics

Perioperative

At your own pace, online

Anaesthetic, obstetric or emergency dependent on course and modules

ABCDs of acute behavioural emergencies

At your own pace online

2 days emergency mental health

 


Rural Procedural Grants – October update

In this issue:

Extended COVID-19 support – online training

It’s been an incredibly challenging year, and we’d like to thank you for the work you continue to do on the front lines.

Though we’re starting to see some light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, the Australian Government and the RACGP have put in place some revised eligibility arrangements for the RPGP to support you and ensure you can still access subsidised continuing professional development (CPD) activities.

We’ve extended these arrangements so they’re now available until 30 June 2021.

We’ve lifted the restrictions on claiming RPGP support for online CPD activities so you can claim for a limited number of online procedural/emergency medicine activities, at a rate of $1000 per day. The online training cap remains the same: three days for emergency, three days for emergency mental health and 10 days for procedural.

You can find more details in the COVID-19 addendum to the RPGP guidelines on the RACGP website.


Defining skills maintenance and upskilling

The RPGP improves rural and remote healthcare delivery and workforce retention by supporting GPs to complete CPD to maintain or enhance existing procedural skills.

So, what is skills maintenance and upskilling?

Skills maintenance

Complying with RACGP requirements to maintain your clinical privileging rights

Upskilling

Improving or extending your current skill level or learning a new skill relevant to the enrolled emergency or procedural component, based on current Australian accredited procedural curriculum and guidelines


RPGP changes

The new RPGP guidelines take effect on 1 January 2021. You can find a copy of the guidelines on the RACGP website.

Some of the key changes

  • Health workforce classification: All program participants, including locums, must be practising in Modified Monash Model (MMM) 3–7 locations. To find out which MMM classification you’re in, use the Department of Health's Health Workforce Locator map.
  • Requirement to be vocationally registered: If you’re not vocationally registered, you won’t be able to participate in the RPGP until you have Fellowed. You’ll be unable to undertake training from 1 January 2021, but you’ll have six months to submit claims for training you completed before 31 December 2020.

Program eligibility: You won’t be eligible for the program if you’re participating in training for which direct financial support is provided by federal, state or territory governments.


Emergency mental health training

If you’re enrolled in the emergency component of the RPGP, you may be eligible for the new emergency mental health component.

Emergency mental health is the urgent assessment, investigation and/or management of an acute mental health problem, including acute psychosis; severe depression; threatened or attempted self-harm or harm of others; or when a patient is brought to hospital under an involuntary detention order for urgent mental health assessment.

To enrol, submit a letter from the hospital stating you’re responsible for providing care for emergency mental health services or crisis intervention in patients with acute mental health issues.

We’ve approached education providers to develop training in this area because finding mental health courses that focus on the ‘emergency’ aspect has been difficult. Mental health training that you would need to use in your clinic to develop management plans is not considered ‘emergency’.

Courses take time to develop, so if you’ve found any great existing courses in this area, please email us at rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au and we’ll share them with RPGP participants.

Some of you have been doing supervised clinical attachments at acute mental health units, and the hands-on experience has been invaluable. Key learning areas include:

  • drug-induced and medical issues
  • sedation and post-sedation care
  • management of patients who display aggressive behaviour and those with mental health disorders
  • rapid treatment of agitation
  • restraint and seclusion use
  • evaluation of medical comorbidities
  • active treatment for substance intoxication or withdrawal.

Supervised clinical attachment

For supervised clinical attachment grant applications, please make sure the claim form and the attachment form are completed and signed by a qualified supervisor. Submit the forms with an email outlining your learning objectives, educational exposure and learning outcomes.

A learning objective is a general statement about what you want to learn in the clinical attachment. A learning outcome is a specific statement describing exactly what measurable skills and abilities you wish to develop.

Supervised clinical attachments are educational training activities, not a day for which you’re remunerated for working at another hospital. The grant is not expected to cover the entire cost of the CPD activity and associated expenses – it’s a contribution towards expenses related to attending the CPD activity.


2021 Western Australian Rural Health Excellence Awards

The WA Rural Health Awards celebrate the achievements of clinicians who have enhanced the range and quality of medical care available in rural locations. If you know a colleague worthy of recognition, consider nominating them for Procedural GP/District Medical Officer of the Year.

For more information on the award categories and criteria, visit the Rural Health West website. Nominations close Monday 30 November 2020.


Upcoming courses – face-to-face

From January 2021, training held outside of Australia will not be approved for grants.

Although these events are currently scheduled to go ahead (with strict COVID-19 hygiene principles in place), refer to up-to-date government guidelines prior to attending. Delivery format and dates may be subject to change. Your health and wellbeing always come first.

Course name

Date/location

Grant approved

Focused cardiac ultrasound workshop

7–8 November 2020, Geelong VIC

2 days emergency, obstetric, anaesthetic and surgery

Focused cardiac ultrasound workshop

21–22 November 2020, Brisbane QLD

2 days emergency, obstetric, anaesthetic and surgery

Trauma skills refresher

23 November, Geraldton WA

1 day emergency grant

Obstetric and gynaecological ultrasound

30 November – 4 December 2020, Broadbeach QLD

5 days obstetric, anaesthetic or surgery and 3 days emergency

Introduction to emergency medicine ultrasound

7–12 December 2020, Broadbeach QLD

5 days obstetric, anaesthetic or surgery and 3 days emergency

Ultrasound in rural medicine

14–18 December 2020, Broadbeach QLD

5 days obstetric, anaesthetic or surgery and 3 days emergency

Basic and advanced life support

11–12 December 2020, Parramatta NSW

2 days emergency or anaesthetics

Paediatric advanced life support

13 December, Parramatta NSW

1 day emergency or anaesthetics

Ultrasound in rural medicine core

14–16 December 2020, Broadbeach QLD

3 days emergency, obstetric, anaesthetic or surgery grant

CTEC’s The Cutting Edge: Advanced hand surgery for GPs workshop

16 December 2020, Crawley WA

1 day surgery

CTEC’s The Cutting Edge: Advanced procedures workshop

17 December 2020, Crawley WA

1 day surgery

Basic and advanced life support

18–19 December 2020, Brisbane QLD

2 days emergency or anaesthetics

Introduction to emergency medicine ultrasound

11–15‌ January 2020, Broadbeach QLD

5 days obstetric, anaesthetic or surgery and 3 days emergency


Upcoming courses – digital

Course name

Format, location

Grant approved

LearnEM courses

Multiple options, online

Grant dependent on course

Cardiac bootcamp self-study course

At your own pace, online

3 days emergency

Trauma radiology

At your own pace, online

2 days emergency or surgery

Ultrasound – Medical and surgical online

At your own pace, online

2 days, all components

Ultrasound – Critical care online

At your own pace, online

2 days, all components

Fetal Surveillance Education Program

Online

1 day obstetric

Advanced life support course

6 hours online plus virtual clinical assessment

1 day emergency or anaesthetic

Perinatal training program

At your own pace, online

Obstetrics grant dependent on modules completed

neoResus

3–5 hours online

1 day obstetric, emergency and anaesthetics

Perioperative

At your own pace, online

Anaesthetic, obstetric or emergency dependent on course and modules

ABCDs of acute behavioural emergencies

At your own pace online

2 days emergency mental health

Emergency medicine for rural GPs workshop

Saturday 7 November 2020, 1.00–5.00 pm, online (Zoom)

1 day emergency (pending CPD approval)


Rural Procedural Grants – August update

In this issue:

 

Caring for yourself in challenging times

Our thoughts are with all GPs at this time, but particularly those in the eastern states. It has been an incredibly challenging year and we’d like to thank you for all of your work on the frontlines.

Should you need help, don’t hesitate to contact the RACGP GP Support Program. This is a free and confidential psychological support service available to all members, delivered by LifeWorks. Access the service by calling 1300 361 008 (24 hours, seven days).
 


Locum placements

Due to a recent policy change, we can no longer process locum grant claims until after you have completed 28 days of locum work for the financial year. You will still be entitled to the grant, but we now must see evidence of having completed the 28 days before your claim can be processed.

When you’re planning your locum work this financial year, please be aware that new guidelines will be in place from 30 December 2020. The currently applicable health workforce areas will change from 1 January 2021, and locum work will need to be conducted in MMM 3–7 areas for the next half of the financial year in order to be eligible for the grants program.

 


Emergency mental health

Access to the new emergency mental health component of the Rural Procedural Grants Program is now available. You need to already be enrolled in emergency medicine if you want to claim for emergency mental health. To be eligible, we need a supporting letter from your hospital stating that you are responsible for providing care in respect of emergency mental health services/crisis intervention in patients presenting with acute mental health issues.

Please remember, training must be in relation to the ‘emergency’ aspect of mental health – not mental health plans that you would normally conduct in a general practice.

 

Update your practice details

If you move practice, or your practice details change, please remember to keep us updated. We can change these details quickly and easily in our system, and ensure your continued eligibility in the program.
 

Historical claim information/statements

Some of you have told us you have had issues retrieving statements through Health Professional Online Services (HPOS).

We have contacted the Department of Health, who informed us they are not aware of any issues with Provider Digital Access (PRODA) and statements prior to 1 July 2020 should be able to be retrieved. Contact the PRODA helpline on 1800 700 199 if you are unable to get into your account.
 


Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia CPD Standard

The Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA) CPD Standard is a means for GPs providing anaesthesia services to develop continuing professional development (CPD) activities in this area. Effective CPD is understood as educational activity that results in quality improvement in clinical practice. Curriculum for general practitioner anaesthesia is the standard reference for this program.

GPs who finish the JCCA CPD Standard program are given a certificate of completion by their college.

It is important to note this is separate to the Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP). Activities submitted for an RPGP grant will also need to be submitted to the RACGP state CPD office if adjudication towards the JCCA CPD Standard requirements is required.

Details of the 2020–22 JCCA CPD Standard will be added to the RACGP website by the end of August.
 


RACGP Rural Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2020 RACGP Rural Awards, which recognise outstanding achievements and exceptional individuals for their contribution to rural general practice.

Do you know a rural or remote medical practitioner, GP in training or student who has made a valuable contribution to rural general practice? Let them know about the awards or nominate them today.

The 2020 awards include:

  • Brian Williams Award
  • Rural GP in Training of the Year Award
  • Medical Student Bursary Award
  • Community Project of the Year Award.

Awards are open nationally across all states and territories. Visit RACGP Rural Awards for more information and to nominate.
 


Grants for online training

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, RACGP Rural worked with the Australian Government to implement revised eligibility arrangements for the RPGP as part of our efforts to support GPs during this unprecedented time.

Restrictions on claiming RPGP support for online CPD activities have been suspended until 31 December, and you can claim costs for a limited number of procedural or emergency medicine activities, at a rate of $1000 per day.

Please keep in mind that the training you choose must align with the component of the program in which you are enrolled. If you are enrolled in obstetrics for example you can’t claim for training focused only on emergency medicine.

Online course completion hours

Number of claimable days

Less than four hours

None

Over four hours but less than eight hours

One eg. $1000

Over eight hours but less than 12 hours

Two

Over 12 hours but less than 16 hours

Three (cap for emergency medicine)

Over 16 hours but less than 20 hours

Four


If unsure whether a course is eligible for a grant, you can ask the Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP) team. We’ll review the program and get back to you.


RACGP Rural Procedural Grants Program expert Cheryl Shepley joins Anne Davis on the Practice THAT! podcast to explain the program which has been designed with training for rural GPs in mind.
 


Rural Procedural Grants – June update

In this issue:

 

Temporary changes to the Rural Procedural Grants Program

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, RACGP Rural has been working with the Australian Government to implement revised eligibility arrangements for the Rural Procedural Grants Program (RPGP) as part of our efforts to support GPs during this unprecedented time. 

These changes include the ability to claim for online education for a limited time, and additional emergency mental health funding from 1 July for eligible GPs.

In addition, restrictions on claiming RPGP support for online continuing professional development (CPD) activities will be suspended until 31 December. Participants can claim costs for a limited number of procedural/emergency medicine activities, at a rate of $1000 per day.

Find out more on the RACGP website.
 


Important changes to the way you claim

From 1 July 2020, we will launch an online claims system for the Rural Procedural Grants Program to streamline the process and make it easier for you to make a claim.

As we move to the new system, there will be a transition period from 14–28 June 2020 during which we will temporarily be unable to process claims. Please submit any outstanding claims by 11 June 2020.

Any claims that have not been submitted by 11 June 2020 can be made on or after 1 July 2020 in the new online system. More details and instructions on the new claims process will be provided to you as soon as possible.
 


Online education eligibility

We have had a number of enquiries regarding the types of online CPD activities that are eligible for RPGP support.

There seems to be some confusion as to how the process works, so hopefully this will help:

  • You can claim for any online course you completed between 11 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, and it will come from your 2019–20 financial year allocation.
  • You will need to submit your claim online using the new system on or after 1 July 2020. Just like any training, the financial year in which you complete the training is the year from which the allocation is taken.
  • You can claim RPGP support for online CPD activities until 31 December 2020.
 

Online courses must:

  • be focused on emergency medicine, anaesthetics, obstetrics or surgical procedural upskilling (the component of the program in which you are enrolled)
  • be relevant in a hospital setting
  • run for a minimum of four hours
  • be interactive and include an assessment component
  • include a certificate of completion.
 

If you are unsure a course fits the above parameters, please feel free to send the information to the RPGP team for adjudication prior to completion.

We are working on a list of eligible online courses, which we will share with you as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are some examples of eligible courses:

  • LearnEM online courses
  • RANZCOG’s Online Fetal Surveillance Education Program
  • CRANAplus Advanced Life Support (ALS)
 

I am a locum GP; can I still access the RPGP during COVID-19?

The Australian Government recognises that locums play an important role in delivering continuity of healthcare in rural and remote communities.

As such, locums who meet the RPGP eligibility requirements and deliver 28 days of services per year in rural and remote communities are eligible to access grant support for online CPD activities.

Please note, locums must complete 28 days for a financial year – there is no longer an eight-separate-placements arrangement.
 


Dual Fellows

Specialists are excluded from the RPGP, even if they are also a GP.

So if you are a GP with an additional specialty qualification, such as Fellow of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, you are no longer eligible to participate.
 

Last chance for 2018–19 claims

Any outstanding claims for the 2018–19 financial year must be submitted by 11 June 2020. You can claim for the current financial year and the previous financial year, but nothing beyond that.

As the end of the financial year fast approaches and we are faced with a surplus of adjudications for online courses, we appreciate your patience. We endeavour to respond to you as soon as we possibly can.
 

Tax

Grant payments do not include GST, so you should retain your payment advice for tax requirements.

Incentive payments must be declared for tax purposes and we advise you to seek advice from your financial advisor, accountant or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) regarding tax arrangements.
 


HPOS and accessing your statements

The utilisation of Health Professionals Online Services (HPOS) for the RPGP will cease from 1 July 2020.

If you have previously accessed your statements electronically, you will be able to continue to access this information via HPOS, as payment advice sent to the HPOS mail centre will remain.

If you have been receiving this information via traditional postage, you will need to make a request to Services Australia to obtain this information. A cost may be incurred for this service.

The responsibility for processing grant payments will be transferring from Services Australia to the RACGP and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) from 1 July 2020. This change will not affect RPGP participants.

The two colleges and the Department of Health will have limited access to historical information once Services Australia ceases processing of payments, so if you would like to access your HPOS statements we encourage you to do so now.
 




Contact RACGP Rural

racgp.org.au/rural |  1800 636 764 |   rural.procedural.grants@racgp.org.au 

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