Addressing member sentiment will ensure a strong future for the RACGP

Matthew Miles

29/04/2021 12:47:50 PM

CEO Dr Matthew Miles discusses membership feedback and how it will be used to guide the college.

Female GP
The RACGP census was designed to ‘kickstart meaningful and long-lasting change’.

The most important part of the RACGP is our membership, our GPs.
They’re the reason we exist and the driving force behind everything we do.
That’s why the results of our recent member census will prove so vital in shaping the future direction of our college, and why I’d like to thank each and every one of the nearly 2800 members who responded.
The census asked some tough questions about how we can do better and where we should focus our efforts, and we’re incredibly grateful for the feedback.
The level of response yielded a margin of error of 1.79% at the 95% level of confidence. This means that if we ran the survey 100 times over, we’d get the results within ±1.79% of this census 95 times, which is vital for helping us tailor what we do for members in the months and years ahead.
The feedback identified three key areas on which we should focus our efforts:

  • Being a strong advocate for GPs
  • Ensuring the work of the RACGP is guided by member views
  • Supporting training, education for GPs in training, and managing Fellowship exams
These areas represent core business for the RACGP and we’re already working to ramp up our efforts in response to your insights. Our advocacy efforts will shine a light on five areas you identified as most important to you:
  • Increasing government funding for the primary health system
  • Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) issues
  • Improving the primary health system for better patient outcomes
  • Encroachment of other health professionals on GP services
  • Reducing bureaucracy in the health system
Additionally, while eight in 10 GPs said they’d like us to make some improvements, almost 70% of members value their membership and indicted the college had performed particularly strongly in the following areas:
  • Providing clinical information, guidelines and resources
  • Setting clinical guidelines and standards;
  • Keeping GPs informed about the latest news in the profession
We’ll also follow feedback by putting more emphasis on achieving fair remuneration for the high-quality skills and the services members provide, and into helping them understand and adhere to regulatory and policy changes.
When it comes to college products and services, members are also largely very satisfied. Those who have used the following products or services in the past 12 months are particularly satisfied:
  • Accessing the check program (85% satisfied)
  • Print copies of the Australian Journal of General Practice (75% satisfied)
  • recruitGP online recruitment portal (71% satisfied)
  • RACGP Plus, our member benefits program (63% satisfied)
  • Research support (71% satisfied)
  • GP support program for GPs and their families (89% satisfied)
  • Our member contact centre (66% satisfied)
CPD is another area with which members are relatively satisfied, particularly regarding the provision of high-quality educational content. The individual components of the program are all comparatively well regarded among those who have used the resources.
In particular, members identified the following as priorities for us to maintain:
  • myCPD dashboard (74% satisfied)
  • gplearning – check program (84% satisfied)
  • RACGP events and webinars (83% satisfied)
  • gplearning – other online courses (83% satisfied)
The top three preferred modes of delivery for CPD activities were identified as face-to-face courses or workshops, self-paced online learning (like gplearning), and webinars.
In terms of how members want to receive information, it’s clear that they prefer the RACGP website, direct RACGP email, and newsGP.
However, the one service on which members think we could improve is our complaints-handling process. Of the few GPs who needed to utilise this service in the past 12 months, only 23% were satisfied with it.
It’s also clear that awareness levels of our Human Research Ethics support, RACGP–NACCHO resources, and career pathway guides is currently too low to determine if these are of value. So we’ll definitely take the opportunity to increase visibility of these services ahead of future surveys.
These census insights are a line in the sand. They’ve provided us with benchmark data to drive significant and visible transformation at the RACGP.
Looking ahead, our initial action plan is available for members to view, and we’re are committed to making it an annual event to track our performance.
Beginning on 25 May, we’ll also hold regular member engagement forums with RACGP President Dr Karen Price and other key executives, which will provide updates on our progress towards becoming the college members want – and need – us to be.
The membership has spoken, and we’ve listened. Now it is time for us to put the invaluable feedback into action. And we’re up to the task.
Watch this space.

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Dr Parvathy Murali   30/04/2021 6:32:13 PM

What kind of support RACGP giving for GPs who are members of the college facing the medicare issues with telehealth happening recently I am one of them and very stressed and not interested in doing telehealth anymore I have done agood job of helping patiens desperately needing help and now pinished for doing that service and the instructions orcrestrictions pit by Medicare not very clear!!