GP Synergy delays partnership vote

Matt Woodley

23/12/2021 11:09:09 AM

GP Synergy’s Board decided to adjourn a planned EGM to give a small number of members more time to consider the proposal.

Picture representing delayed meeting.
The GP Synergy EGM has been adjourned until 20 January, 2022.

GP Synergy’s Board has moved to adjourn an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) it had originally called to allow the regional training organisation’s (RTO) membership to vote on a proposed strategic partnership with the RACGP.
The partnership would see the college become the sole member of GP Synergy during the transition to profession-led community-based training (PLT) until February 2023, at which point general practice training and education would come under the umbrella of the RACGP and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
As the proposed partnership requires changes to the organisation’s constitution in order to come into effect, 75% of GP Synergy’s membership need to vote in favour of the amendments.
Some members have asked for more time to consider the proposal – a move that has received the full backing of the RACGP Board including RACGP President Dr Karen Price.
‘The RACGP is grateful for the strong support the proposal has already received from GP Synergy’s membership,’ she said.
‘While engaging with GP Synergy’s members on the proposed changes, a small number of members requested additional time and information to consider the proposal.
‘As such, the RACGP supports the decision of the GP Synergy Board to adjourn the meeting and provide their members with additional time to learn more about the proposed changes, understand the impact, and consider the benefits to NSW and ACT registrars, supervisors and the local community.’
The date for the new EGM, 20 January 2022, should mean registrars, supervisors, training facilities and other stakeholders will still have certainty prior to training recommencing in February, Dr Price said.
However, she also warned against delaying any further, as the transition to PLT needs to be finalised by February 2023.
‘As RTOs have to pivot to transition, they will lose resources for training delivery, leading to disruption,’ Dr Price said.
‘In less than 14 months GP Synergy will acquit its training grant and commence winding up and, within that timeframe, both the RACGP and ACRRM will need to have completed the transition to be able to deliver training by 2023.
‘Delaying transition any further than January 2022 would not be in the best interest of the NSW and ACT GP communities. Adjourning by 30 days equates to one-thirteenth of the remaining time.’
While the proposed sole membership structure is the first transition pathway to PLT that has been endorsed by the Board of an RTO, it has also caused angst among some sections of the general practice community – particularly rural GPs – who worry that ACRRM will not be involved in the transition period.
However, the RACGP has indicated that it remains committed to working with GP Synergy on its chosen transition pathway and also acknowledged the joint responsibility the Federal Government placed upon the RACGP and ACRRM to successfully manage the transition to PLT.
‘The college wants to ensure that we have the operational capacity, scale, processes, systems, resources, knowhow and experience in place to be able to effectively deliver GP training well ahead of February 2023,’ Dr Price said.
‘We will continue to work with the Government, ACRRM, RTOs, and other peak bodies and stakeholders to achieve the delivery of a nationally consistent, locally delivered approach to general practice training.’
In 2021, 94% of GP Synergy registrars (1829/1945) are pursuing the RACGP fellowship pathway, including 90% of all rural pathway registrars in the community.
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