Colleges announce new rural GP anaesthesia qualification

Matt Woodley

29/09/2021 5:04:05 PM

The diploma is designed to recognise the role GPs with advanced training in anaesthesia play in many rural and remote communities.

Patient going under anaesthesia.
The diploma will provide training to produce graduates who can deliver safe anaesthesia and perioperative care in rural and remote settings.

From 2023, GPs in rural and remote Australia will be able to access a new rural generalist anaesthesia qualification, thanks to a collaboration between the RACGP, ACRRM and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA).
The three medical colleges signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the one-year diploma of rural generalist anaesthesia (DRGA), the development of which will be led by ANZCA.
RACGP President Dr Karen Price told newsGP the new qualification will make a real difference for rural and remote communities.
‘Working as a GP in a rural or remote setting offers tremendous variety and flexibility, including anaesthesia services,’ she said.
‘I encourage rural generalist registrars and rural GPs to take up the DRGA to expand their skillset and take on more opportunities in the years ahead.
‘We know that outside of major cities it is not always possible to have specialist anaesthetists, so this diploma is positive news for rural and remote communities.’
The DRGA will provide training to produce rural generalist anaesthesia graduates who can deliver safe anaesthesia and peri-operative care in rural and remote settings for some elective and emergency surgery − including obstetric and paediatric procedures − and the resuscitation and stabilisation of patients for transfer when required.
It will replace the current qualification that is overseen by the three colleges under the guidance of the Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA). The colleges have been working towards the development of the diploma for a number of years and already undertaken significant work on the curriculum.
Anaesthetist and Acting Chair of the Tripartite Committee of Rural Generalist Anaesthesia, Associate Professor Deborah Wilson, said the colleges will continue to work together while acknowledging the different landscapes across Australia for safe anaesthetic delivery.
‘ANZCA is responsible for the clinical standards in the diploma curriculum, while ACRRM and the RACGP are responsible for standards and requirements for their respective rural generalist Fellowship programs,’ she said.
‘We look forward to our first intake of trainees in 2023 and improving access to safe and high-quality anaesthesia services for Australians living in our rural communities.’
The DRGA will be available to rural generalist registrars seeking formal training and certification in anaesthesia who are enrolled in the ACRRM Fellowship training program and/or the RACGP Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) training program.
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Dr Robert Douglas   30/09/2021 7:59:57 AM

An excellent plan. I just hope it's ot then seen as an opportunity to milk thousands from anyone that wishes to participate.