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21 December 2017

RACGP Rural Statement on Anaesthesia Diploma

RACGP Rural is working with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) in developing a Diploma of Rural General Practice Anaesthesia (DRGPA). Please note that the name of the qualification is still to be determined.


Currently the Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA) provides the oversight, training post and supervision approvals, curriculum and completion of training documents for general practitioners (GPs) wishing to acquire GP anaesthesia skills. Over the last two years, the JCCA has overseen significant changes to training and CPD requirements for GP anaesthetists (GPAs). However, an ongoing lack of recognition of GPAs’ skills and contributions to rural and remote communities has overshadowed some of these efforts.

ANZCA has proposed that the DRGPA is developed and RACGP Rural supports this proposal. A DRGPA is a major advance for GPAs. The DRGPA would overcome several of the issues that the JCCA has started to address, in particular:

  • consistency of anaesthetic training
  • access to established educational resources to supplement the clinical based training program
  • standardised examination process
  • linking ongoing CPD to the currency of the qualification.

RACGP Representation

An ANZCA Consultative Working Group (CWG) is tasked with the development of the DRGPA. The RACGP representative is A/Prof Richard Watts and Dr Stuart Prosser is the JCCA representative. Additionally, Dr Ron McCoy who is RACGP’s Education Strategy Senior Advisor will attend all CWG meetings on behalf of the RACGP. All the RACGP representatives are committed to the interests of our rural GPs and their patients.

Ongoing management

RACGP Rural Chair, A/Prof Ayman Shenouda has spoken at length with Dr Rodney Mitchell, the vice-president of ANZCA. The ongoing governance of the DRGPA will be decided by all three Colleges (RACGP, ANZCA and ACRRM) and RACGP Rural will strongly advocate for the best outcomes for our members.

If you should have any questions or comments about the DRGPA or for our representatives on the CWG please email