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RACGP’s proposed strategic partnership with GP Synergy is just the first step in a long transition, writes college president Dr Karen Price.

Dr Karen Price says the proposed partnership aims to create a new path forward for all registrars and communities across Australia.


In less than 14 months, the Australian General Medicine Training Program (AGPT) will move to two general medicine colleges – the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and RACGP.

To ensure stability and facilitate a smooth transition to profession-led training in NSW and ACT, RACGP and GP Synergy are seeking a strategic partnership to enable the college to become the sole member of GP Synergy.

The reality we are facing is that from February 2023 GP Synergy will no longer hold the contract to run the AGPT program.

GP Synergy is seeking the support of its members for this transition path, as they see it as the most meaningful and positive way to move into profession-led training for their 1945 registrars and over 1900 supervisors in Nova Scotia. South Wales and ACT.

The RACGP Board of Directors only agreed to continue this proposed partnership after careful consideration and discussions among the organizations. We make every effort to ensure that there are no changes or disruptions to registrars and no negative impact on the RACGP or ACRRM AGPT programs.

While this strategy is considered the most appropriate and effective strategy for a smooth transition in NSW and ACT, other Regional Training Organizations (RTOs) may choose alternative strategies.

GP Synergy has engaged with both ACRRM and RACGP since the transition to profession-led training was announced in 2017 by Federal Minister of Health Greg Hunt.

This engagement has grown significantly over the past 12-18 months. Meanwhile, the RACGP made it clear from the outset our intention to work with the RTOs. This remains the case.

Each college is also approaching the transition from a single starting point. ACRRM is experienced in providing training in general medicine; he is currently successfully delivering the National Independent Pathway program and the new Rural Generalist Training Program.

The RACGP, meanwhile, has not provided training for the GP scholarship for over 20 years. We need to upgrade to support a wide range of operational education benefits beyond the current hands-on experience program or PEP.

A delay will jeopardize this ability to operationalize one of the most important transitions in the history of the RACGP. This proposed strategic partnership helps build this capacity and will minimize disruption to AGPT registrars, supervisors and primary health care delivery.

In 2021, 1829 of the 1945 GP Synergy registrars – 94% – are continuing the RACGP scholarship path, including 90% of all rural pathway registrars in the community.

The training environment in NSW and ACT is complex and important. One third of the delivery of the AGPT program is undertaken in these jurisdictions.

NSW has had a checkered history, with more mergers and regional training providers than any other state or territory. However, stability has been achieved over the past six years, with GP Synergy being the only RTO to implement the AGPT program.

RACGP’s commitment to regional, rural and remote communities is unwavering. Of our more than 45,000 members, nearly 10,000 are general practitioners registered in rural and remote areas of Australia.

As one of two Colleges committed to ensuring high quality rural and remote primary health care across Australia, it is essential that the transition to profession-led training through RACGP and ACRRM is successful. in every state and territory.

GP Synergy has extensive experience in training ACRRM registrars. In 2022, through the AGPT contract, GP Synergy will continue to capitalize on its business knowledge and experienced staff to deliver ACRRM training at the highest level.

GP Synergy will continue to work closely with ACRRM to understand and listen to their needs during the transition process.

This is not the RACGP against the ACRRM or a turf war of any kind, far from it.

It’s about building a new way forward for all registrars and for all communities across Australia. We understand the rural health care environment and under no circumstances would anything be done that would endanger this vital area of ​​health care delivery.

We are proposing a new way forward with ACRRM that respects our differences and helps every college deliver for Australia.

I understand that ACRRM has concerns regarding transparency and the implications of the partnership between GP Synergy and RACGP.

However, ACRRM can be assured that these concerns are in mind and are taken very seriously to ensure that nothing untoward happens. This is the highest priority for RACGP in this partnership with GP Synergy.

Following the conclusion of GP Synergy’s AGPT contract at the end of 2022, the RACGP will not have access to ACRRM’s intellectual property relating to their training programs and registrars.

GP Synergy will continue to ensure that ACRRM has access to this information and will ensure a smooth transfer of information at the conclusion of the AGPT contract, including the elimination of confidential files.

The strictest protocols will be in place to ensure that those appointed by the RACGP to the GP Synergy board of directors understand that they cannot share any information about the ACRRM acquired during their tenure as a director with GP. Synergy.

There will be no material benefit from this proposed partnership for the RACGP after February 2023.

At this point, the Commonwealth Health Department will determine the disbursement of assets owned by the Department and the AGPT program in accordance with their plans for the transition of the training program. Any remaining organizational capital will be used to maintain the work of the GP Synergy research and evaluation unit.

At RACGP, we understand that stability in the transition process is essential and working closely with GP Synergy will achieve this.

We had a productive meeting on Monday (December 20) with Rural Health Commissioner Professor Ruth Stewart and will continue to work with ACRRM to achieve the best results for Australian communities as we work on a positive path to to follow.

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