RACGP Rural marks 30 years

Jolyon Attwooll

26/04/2022 3:25:49 PM

The college’s rural faculty was formed in April 1992 to advocate, educate and support GPs in more remote parts of the country.

RACGP Rural representatives in 1992
Then and now: RACGP Rural representatives in 1992 (above), and in 2022.

RACGP Rural is celebrating three decades this month, with a series of events planned to commemorate the anniversary.  
Formed by a College Council resolution on 26 April 1992, RACGP Rural has since advocated for, educated, trained and supported its members in Australia’s most remote places. 
The faculty now has the most extensive rural membership of any medical college in the country,  comprising more than 22,000 members.
More than 10,000 of those live and work in rural and remote Australia.
Along with its advocacy work carried out on behalf of rural GPs, the college also helps deliver the RACGP Rural Fellowship, which was launched in 2006.
Tailored to rural GPs, it has helped provide additional training, including in emergency medicine, obstetrics, surgery and mental health, to help general practice best serve rural communities.
More than 700 GPs have gained the Fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) since it began.
A Rural Generalist Fellowship is also set to be launched, with the RACCP and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) working together to develop a national framework.
Millions of dollars have also been administered through the faculty as part of the Rural Procedural Grants Program to help GPs build relevant skills.
RACGP President Adjunct Professor Karen Price will appear at an online event with RACGP Rural Chair Dr Michael Clements to mark the anniversary.
Professor Price said more government investment is needed to address a shortage of GPs in rural and remote areas and inequities in health outcomes for rural patients.
‘Improving access to high-quality general practice in rural and remote communities is critical to improve the health and wellbeing of rural people,’ Professor Price said.
‘Rural communities have poorer health outcomes than urban communities, with higher rates of chronic disease, and more complex health needs.’
Professor Price said people in rural towns are significantly more likely to die from diabetes, coronary heart disease, and suicide.
‘There is no quick fix to this problem, there are many factors behind it,’ she said.
‘Our future Federal Government needs to act and deliver genuine, long-term reforms and investment to ensure world-class care for all into the future.’
Dr Clements also called for ‘genuine, long-term reforms and investment’.
‘We need Government to recognise the interdependencies of the entire system and make sure that any reform is nested within a comprehensive strategy for general practice overall,’ he said.
More information on the events marking RACGP Rural’s 30th anniversary is available on the RACGP website.
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Prof Max Kamien, AM. CitWA   27/04/2022 9:01:52 AM

22,000 members and we still have a massive shortage of rural and remote doctors?
How many of this 22,000 are active?