RACGP and ACRRM collaborating on national rural generalist pathway

Paul Hayes

9/02/2018 2:38:51 PM

The RACGP and ACRRM have come together to help develop of a national framework for rural generalism.

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L–R: ACRRM’s Dr Michael Beckoff, National Rural Health Commissioner Professor Paul Worley, Minister for Rural Health Bridget McKenzie, RACGP Rural Chair Dr Ayman Shenouda.

The two colleges agreed to work together in support of the Collingrove Agreement following a rural and regional health forum held today in Canberra. The forum was also attended by National Rural Health Commissioner Professor Paul Worley, Federal Minister for Rural Health Bridget McKenzie, and representatives from a number of other healthcare bodies.

‘[The rural generalism framework] will mean more doctors in the regions to assist with the current maldistribution of the health workforce. Doctors will be there when they are needed the most,’ Minister McKenzie told newsGP. ‘The framework recognises the diverse range of skills required of a rural doctor and will build a skilled national medical workforce to meet the needs of our rural and remote communities.

‘Working together, the colleges will build a strong, sustainable and skilled national medical workforce to meet the needs of our rural and remote communities.’
The RACGP and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) first decided to work on the rural generalism framework during a recent meeting with Professor Worley in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.
‘We decided we needed to work collaboratively to form a good education framework, a national one,’ Dr Ayman Shenouda, Chair of RACGP Rural, told newsGP.
The RACGP and ACRRM propose that a rural generalist is a:

medical practitioner who is trained to meet the specific current and future healthcare needs of Australian rural and remote communities, in a sustainable and cost-effective way, by providing both comprehensive general practice and emergency care, and required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and community settings as part of a rural healthcare team.
‘The Collingrove Agreement is the crucial first step in developing a national rural generalist pathway,’ Professor Worley said.
‘The two colleges agree on our goal and they bring their combined strength to reach out together to commonwealth, state and territory governments to build on the existing achievements to create the pathway and supports for a truly sustainable rural medical workforce – a basic human right for rural people and a requirement for long-term economic growth in our regions.’
Dr Shenouda agrees the collaboration between the RACGP and ACRRM will help to create the best results for rural GPs and their patients.
‘Rural generalism is about the right doctors with the right skills to meet community needs,’ he said. ‘The idea of this being a national pathway is to get the best of every state and combine that into a good, solid program.
‘You need to still leave autonomy for every state and every jurisdiction to address their own needs and how they would run the program, but this will provide a good framework.
‘We need not to concentrate on the name; we just need to concentrate more on the skills and an education pathway that will develop a doctor with the right skills to suit the needs of communities.’

Collingrove-Agreement rural-generalism rural-generalist-framework


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