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RACGP thanks outgoing Rural Health Commissioner for her service and advocacy

Royal Australian College of GPs 2 mins read

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has thanked outgoing National Rural Health Commissioner Associate Professor Ruth Stewart for her service and welcomed the appointment of Professor Jenny May AM to the role.

Professor May’s appointment was announced by the Minister for Health and Aged Care the Hon Mark Butler MP today, commencing 2 September 2024.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins thanked Associate Professor Stewart for her service and leadership.

“Thanks to Ruth Stewart for her fierce advocacy, her service, and her leadership in advancing healthcare for rural Australians,” she said.

"The RACGP worked with Associate Professor Stewart on progressing formal recognition of rural generalism and ensuring rural communities have more specialist GPs with additional skills to improve access to care.

“Australia needs a mix of GPs with rural generalist skills and rural GPs working to their full scope in community practices, providing preventive care and chronic disease management.

“The RACGP trains 90% of Australia’s GPs in rural and remote Australia, as well as our big cities. We have solutions that are attracting GPs to train and live in rural communities. This year, the RACGP successfully filled 114 GP training places in communities that hadn’t had a registrar for years with targeted incentives.”

Dr Higgins also welcomed the appointment of Professor May.

“The RACGP works closely with the Rural Health Commissioner to improve health outcomes for rural Australians and get more GPs in communities across Australia,” she said.

“Rural Australians have worse health outcomes and lower life expectancy than people in cities. There is a lot that needs to be done to change this.

“Jenny May has been a fantastic advocate for the health of rural Australians for years, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role as National Rural Health Commissioner.

“Ensuring we have the GPs we need in rural Australia has been a focus for Professor May, and I could not be more confident her expertise will help Australia to meet those communities’ needs in her new role.”


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.

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