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Australia’s leading GP training college strengthens calls for GP workforce boost

Royal Australian College of GPs 2 mins read

The Royal Australia College of GPs (RACGP) has today doubled down on calls for the Federal Government to invest in increasing the general practice workforce to meet the growing needs of communities across Australia.  

Australia’s peak GP body responsible for training 90% of Australia’s general practitioners, the RACGP is making the calls at a meeting of medical leaders in Canberra today.  

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said a strong general practice workforce is essential for a healthy Australia.  

“Having enough GPs training and working in every community is vital for peoples’ health and wellbeing, as well as for the government’s health reforms to succeed,” she said. 

“Australia is facing a significant health worker shortage. There are critical shortages of pharmacists, nurses, psychiatrists, and GPs too. 

“This is why the RACGP is calling for the government to fund incentives and subsidised training to get enough GPs in every community in the next federal Budget. 

“GPs keep people healthy and well, and a strong general practice workforce is essential for Australia to address the health challenges of today and the future. This includes our aging population and rising rates of chronic disease, which are putting increasing pressure on our health system and hospitals. 

“Being a GP is one of the most rewarding jobs. But the workforce has been stifled by decades of underfunding. 

“We need action now to attract and retain this essential workforce, to secure the health of our communities. 

“As Australia’s largest GP training college, we know what is needed to get more GPs in training and boost the workforce. 

“We’re calling for the Federal Government to implement simple measures to boost the workforce in the immediate future, and long term. This includes subsidising training for international and local doctors who train to become specialist GPs in regional and rural Australia. This will boost the workforce right away, and into the future, because the research shows GPs who train rurally are more likely to choose to live there. 

“We’re also calling for the barriers to GP training to be removed, including differences in work entitlements and pay between hospitals and private practice. Currently, GPs in training don’t get paid parental or study leave. And it can be fixed immediately by funding work entitlements and an incentive payment, so GPs in training get the same as their hospital-based counterparts.  

“Together, these measures will boost our homegrown GP workforce, and attract more highly trained overseas doctors to Australia to meet our growing health needs. Everyone needs general practice care, and having enough GPs in every community is essential for the health of our nation.” 

In its pre-Budget Submission 2024-25, the RACGP is calling for: 

  • Funding for 500 participants in the Fellowship Support Program and 600 in the PEP – Specialist Program to boost Australia’s GP workforce and get more GPs into communities in need. 

  • Funding for paid parental and study leave for GP registrars and an incentive payment to ensure they’re paid the same as those working in hospitals.   

~ENDS


About us:

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is the peak representative organisation for general practice, the backbone of Australia’s health system. We set the standards for general practice, facilitate lifelong learning for GPs, connect the general practice community, and advocate for better health and wellbeing for all Australians.

Visit www.racgp.org.au. To unsubscribe from RACGP media releases, click here.


Contact details:

John Ronan
Media Adviser

Ally Francis
Media Adviser

Stuart Winthrope
Media Officer

Contact: 03 8699 0992media@racgp.org.au

Follow us on Twitter: @RACGP and Facebook.

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