Rural training to include regional areas
THE rural pathway for general practice training is to be expanded to take in RRMA 3 areas, such as Lismore in NSW and Whyalla in South Australia.Rodger Coote, head of General Practice Education & Training’s program improvement and workforce branch, welcomed the decision, saying it was likely to make rural training more marketable and attractive to GP registrars.
“[With] the increased number of graduates looking for training, it will give those supervisors in RRMA 3 locations increased training capacity,” he said.
However, the changes could potentially attract registrars away from more rural areas and into larger regional centres, according to RDAA president Dr Peter Rischbieth.
“We are worried that [some] doctors who normally would go out to RRMA 4-7 areas will not go out there.”
“It may bring more registrars into rural training... but will they actually end up where they are most needed?”
Mr Coote conceded that, without appropriate planning, a ‘draw in’ effect from RRMA 4-7 areas might occur, but he believed this registrar ‘clustering’ could be prevented with careful management.
General Practice Registrars Australia chair Dr Naomi Harris said her organisation would continue to advocate abolishing the dual pathway (rural and urban), but added that the announcement was a step in the right direction.
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