News

RACGP to expand training into China


Doug Hendrie


21/01/2019 12:00:57 PM

Health authorities in China have proposed a partnership with the RACGP to help train new GPs as part of efforts to considerably increase the country’s primary care workforce.

RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon described the proposed partnership as a ‘great sign of Australia being an international leader when it comes to the delivery of general practice’.
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon described the proposed partnership as a ‘great sign of Australia being an international leader when it comes to the delivery of general practice’.

China is planning to train half a million new GPs within 11 years.
 
And the RACGP will play a role in that enormous undertaking.
 
The Shenzhen Municipal Community Health Association approached the RACGP to propose a partnership, under which the college will deliver education services and help establish primary healthcare training systems in the high-tech city.
 
The proposed partnership is expected to roll out later this year, with further growth anticipated.  
 
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon told newsGP that China has a well-documented need for primary healthcare to complement its established hospitals.
 
‘The RACGP has been approached to assist with solutions to support the increased primary healthcare demands from a growing China. This is a great sign of Australia being an international leader when it comes to the delivery of general practice,’ he said.
 
‘The RACGP has a lot to offer to other countries developing the general practice specialty. Through its many long-established relationships with organisations in other countries, the RACGP has the opportunity to share experiences and continue to develop the specialty of general practice globally.
 
‘The partnership with the Shenzhen Municipal Community Health Association provides an opportunity for the RACGP and medical educators to be part of the program and share their knowledge and expertise, and to be part of and influence general practice in other settings.’
 
Shenzhen is a high-tech megacity bordering Hong Kong, with an estimated population of around 20 million.

Shenzhen-article.jpgThe healthcare future for China’s high-tech megacity Shenzhen? More GPs.
 
China is dealing with a huge ageing population, which will bring with it more issues related to multimorbidity and chronic diseases.

At the 2017 National Party Conference, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that a key aspect of improving the nation’s health was to ‘strengthen the construction of grassroots medical and health service systems and the establishment of general practitioner teams’.
 
The nation of 1.3 billion currently has around 210,000 GPs.
 
At present, many Chinese people go directly to hospitals rather than go to a family doctor. Hospital queues are notoriously long in many cities.
 
Public hospitals currently get around two thirds of government health funding in China, and specialists greatly outnumber GPs, who make up only around 6% of all doctors.
 
Last year, a delegation of Chinese healthcare officials from Zhejiang province visited the RACGP’s Melbourne head office on a fact-finding mission.
 
Dr Hui Yang, China programs manager for Monash University’s Institute for Health and Clinical Education, told newsGP the delegation wanted to learn about further developing a primary care system.
 
‘In China, the primary care discipline has been identified as a key priority of healthcare system reform,’ he said. ‘[Primary care] is more efficient and cost-effective for the health system and has a better outcome for people’s health. 
 
‘To visit the RACGP is one of the most important activities, and the aim is to understand how the RACGP works to establish standards of training, practice and examinations.’



china doctor family general practice training partnership



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Dr Elisabeth May Christensen   22/01/2019 8:13:28 AM

I find this a concerning course for RACGP seemingly with no prior discussion with members. Our own health system, education and training of local and overseas doctors and the quality of care of Australians, particularly our vulnerable people including the elderly, indigenous, those with mental illness and those with limited understanding of health, is severely lacking. It is very hard not to think 'ivory tower' greed, money and egos are not the primary motivators in this new development. It is most disappointing.


Dr.Vinod lal   22/01/2019 9:21:39 AM

My message to RACGP---Look into Australian Primary Care delivery first.Its annoying to see our health system is so fragmented and disorganised due to over doctored,over servicing,poor control --etc and here we go wanting to dig into another Nations primary care upgrade.
RACGP, again improve the system here first than consult members before embarking abroad just for financial gain reflecting ego of some bureaucrats.


Dr Gregory Dayman   22/01/2019 10:15:43 AM

As a college representing a developed model of primary medical care with specialist recognition the RACGP is ideally placed to provide lead agency guidance to countries looking to implement measures to improve the health of its citizens. This sounds an exciting public health initiative with the potential for a positive impact on the health of hundreds of millions of fellow humans who suffer a high burden of modern chronic disease but lack systematic management of these conditions.


Ahad KHAN   22/01/2019 10:44:12 AM

I would like to know much Monies is the College ( mark it, I did not say MY College ) receiving for this ???

Once the Chinese GPs fulfill all of the Requirements of the RACGP, simply imagine the Influx of those Fully Trained Doctors into our Country, already SUFFERING GPs, due to the already Paltry Financial Rewards !!!!

This further re-affirms my Strong Belief, that this College does not represent us GPs at the Coalface.

Retirement, where art thou !

DR. AHAD KHAN - Australian GP


Dr Vineet Jadhav   22/01/2019 10:58:40 AM

as a doctor who has worked over seas , I do find it concerning approach the RACGP has taken, and quite correctly pointed out from other doctors, that, the approach of the college has to spend some energy in improving some ongoing issues with our failing health system. The disease profile, the incidence of disease the management pathways are very different in other parts of the world. There is very little in the RACGP, and Graduate training programs in Australia, that deals with tropical and sub tropical disease states.


Rolf Tsui   22/01/2019 11:10:35 AM

It is a good opportunity to show care our tried and tested Primary Care System to our friends in China. With over a billion people and no efficient Primary Care System, it is literally drowning in patients.
We can also learn something from China as they will with Australia.

We can afford to help others, while helping ourselves at the same time to resolve the long running issues in this country. Waiting to help others until we finish our “own” issues will never happen as there would be bound to be new “issues” developing as soon as you sort out the old.

Big thinking RACGP, I support it.

Disclaimer: I have contributed as a private citizen and GP. I have no ties to the Communist Party of China.


Shashi   22/01/2019 11:44:58 AM

What a fantastic concept.
I can see the opportunities endless which will be beneficial for both parties

Primary health care is paramount to a healthy nation


Max Kamien   22/01/2019 12:31:27 PM

Such initiatives have been on and off the RACGP radar for at least 3 decades. The first discussions were in 1979-1987 as part of Australian Government aid to Shandong province. Various visitations by RACGP delegations occurred after that. Also to Timor Leste. We would need great intercultural, educational and political skill to be of any use. Might learn something from the other initiatives that came to little.


Ning   22/01/2019 1:10:04 PM

International co-cooperation to improve primary heath care in Australia and in China is a fundamental duty for RACGP and all GP, work together to manage health issue is better for all human beings in the earth, as we all face same health problems in this earth, such as climate change and how to affect human being.


Rolf Tsui   22/01/2019 1:26:49 PM

It is a good opportunity to show case our tried and tested Primary Care System to our friends in China. With over a billion people and no efficient Primary Care System, it is literally drowning in patients.
We can also learn something from China as they will with Australia.

We can afford to help others, while helping ourselves at the same time to resolve the long running issues in this country. Waiting to help others until we finish our “own” issues will never happen as there would be bound to be new “issues” developing as soon as you sort out the old.

Big thinking RACGP, I support it.

Disclaimer: I have contributed as a private citizen and GP. I have no ties to the Communist Party of China.


Farhan   22/01/2019 5:17:28 PM

I think RACGP is taking lead and it i am sure it will mutually benefit people and doctors of both countries. It will add another door of opportunities for Medical community here in Australia. Keep thinking Big!


Concerned GP   22/01/2019 5:49:29 PM

I have some questions about this:

1- What will happen to us Australian GPs when Australian politicians decide to allow Chinese trained FRACGPs to immigrate to escape pollution and authoritarianism to Aussie freedom and flood our health system and further erode our paltry incomes and the GP profession in Australia (politicians will always think we earn too much no matter how pathetic we think it is)?

2. Will my RACGP membership fees be used to fund this?

3. Will our precious and rare medical educators be lured by China and the RACGP to training Chinese instead of Aussie GPs? Medical education is poorly funded and we don't have enough people training our own GPs.


Inderjit Singh LUDHER   25/01/2019 2:53:46 PM

I am glad RACGP is spreading its wings again as it has done in the past .
As a Teacher myself of Family Medicine and practicing as a GP for 40 years , I believe prosper thy neighbour is prospering ourselves .
I will be happy to be part of the Team to start the process in China.
They have been deprived for too long . Our 1st General Practice Conference in the 80's when we showcased Family Medicine GP practice to the Chinese doctors was a turning point for them and for us too .
Its wonderful to share our expertise with them . Not all FRACGP graduates come to Australia . We have many in Hong Kong , Malaysia and ? Middle East still practising there.
The Chinese doctors will not flood Australia . They are more attached to their own country and their culture as compared to us in Australia . It is said that if 1 million Chinese tourists come to visit Australia , then one million will return and no one will be missing . Such is their attachment . China is the Country of the Future . They are building a world civilisation , using their hard earned money to bring progress and development to the whole body of developing nations which have been systematically robbed and detroyed by the colonial powers . China has no intention to colonise the world , unlike the western nations.
Australia will gain more from China than we are aware of now .
Please see the future in perspective . The Future is Under-population , not over-population ! I am happy for RACGP to build bridges , not walls with the developing world which is very hard working and and can bring great benefits to us provided there is a empathic political will and action.


concerned GP   28/01/2019 12:29:18 PM

I agree with the comments provided by a few GPs above namely Dr.E. Christensen, Dr Vinod etc who are currently not bent towards the idea of expanding training into China. The interested parties should have consultations with practicing , experienced GPs who are very knowledgeable with ongoing practice problems and funding. Primary health care is essential to our country. but the incentives to encourage trainee GPs esp financial is one of the worst being given only 40% of their total intake. There should be a fix wage like hospitals and indexed


concerned GP   28/01/2019 12:40:19 PM

we need to encourage our young doctors to be GPs and provide incentives... not with overseas travels.Why are we using funding that can be appropriately used within the country. the are so much more to learn here. We should not feather our own beds( having free trips and nothing eventuate), giving a pretentious view how good our relationship is with another country and building bridges with them when instead we are building walls within our own. Charity begins at home please.


Anh Le   6/02/2019 11:40:08 PM

I agree with the concerned GP , I believe that partnership in GP training with China will affect our country future. Dr Ludher has praised China as a country of future and praised Chinese president Xi Pinping.
Dr Ludher states that" China has no intention to colonise the world , unlike the western nations,Australia will gain more from China than we are aware of now ." That statement make me shivering because even I am an Asian, Vietnamese , we have long history of China invasion of Vietnam and also other neighbour countries are being influenced,invaded by China. I am living in Eastern suburb of Melbourne but I think I live in China instead, please come and visit Box Hill and see all the bill board ,all in Chinese language. RACGP must provide good training for our doctors first, can introduce GP training model to other countries like China but should think about their influences on our nation.
I am Asian, international medical graduate, got my AMEC and FRACG P in Australia but I call Australia home and want to raise my voice to protect the Future of Australia Health care and Australian government. China is under the dictatorship , with the expansionism, imperialism, no freedom of speech ,spying cameras are every where, why would you believe that their money would not affect our vision. Do you remember Tiananmen square massacre in 1989 ?
My Chinese friends who now are Australian GP was also the medical students at that time and witnessed that massacre.
Please think twice for the sake of our Australia country.


Dr Carl Mattias Faldt   7/02/2019 8:39:18 PM

Interesting thoughts and comments indeed.
I definitely agree with Dr Anh Le.
(Regarding poor remuneration by other commentators I disagree, how much do you want?)
China very likely need to upgrade their GP/Healthcare access, but given the enormous discrepancies in equality in this extremely Elitist, One party, Dictatorship country I think it certainly warrants a lot of care to be taken before signing up for this venture.

I furthermore agree that consultation with members ought to be mandatory before embarking on these ambitious non-core projects. Isn't this really a matter of National Affairs/Foreign Ministry given the influence and dominance of RACGP in Australia. One can seriously question how this is any of RACGP's core mandate at all?

Someone mentioned Ivory Tower?...


Edward Wu   10/02/2019 1:46:53 AM

I am an Australian medical graduate with FRACGP gained in 1976. I have worked as a family doctor in Australia for a total of 33 years. During this period, I have also been associated with the development and teaching/training in General Practice at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels on and off in Hong Kong and mainland China. I applaud the College's international vision and generosity in sharing knowledge and experience. While we have much to share with physicians in China, we also have much to learn from their efforts to provide better care to their own residents. I am sure this collaboration will not be a one way street. I am amused with the level of misunderstanding expressed by many of our colleagues due to their out dated understanding of China. I can only try to reassure them here by simply saying their fears are unfounded. Our College (I am a life member) is still an Australian college and our emphasis can only be based on the health needs of the Australian community. Sharing our knowledge and skills internationally had never and will not be possible at the expense of this fundamental role of the RACGP. As members of a caring profession, helping to train primary care doctors in other countries can also enrich our understanding of needs in our own Australian community serving to increase our awareness in the need to avoid the problems they are facing.


Peter Shannon   11/02/2019 9:25:47 PM

As an Australian FRACGP (20 years experience as a GP) currently working in Bangladesh (no Primary Health Care and little of anything else) I think it is very exciting that our College is looking to share our world class GP training in China. I invite then to come to Bangladesh to explore possibilities here too. To equate this idea with declining GP income, absent RACGP influence (?an opportunity for college income), or Chinese hegemony I find quite extraordinary. Australia exports education in many forms, why not General Practice training?


Concerned Over Particular 'Concerned GP'   24/09/2019 8:38:33 PM

Firstly I think it's important to think outside our system and venture on global pictures, as well as sharing our knowledge and experience, via teaching we may even learning something.

Then I also agree with the concerns regarding the need to address many issues in our current health system which still requires our attention, research and funding to support the answers to improvements.

Whether we go ahead or not, this is an initiative that should be shared with the members of the College and the Public, at full transparency.

However the carefully disguised but obviously ethnically discriminating comments coming from Anh Le are laughable and dangerous at the same time. As a doctor, evidence-based practice should be present, even when you have political interests. Don't judge a country without knowing it firsthand. Australia didn't even speak English before 1788, and look where we are today.


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