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Thursday 23 July 2020
ACRRM welcomes further investment in Rural Generalist training
The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) welcomes the announcement the government has committed further funding to support Rural Generalist training as part of its commitment to deliver better health outcomes for rural communities. Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton today committed $27 million to establish Rural Generalist Coordination Units (RGCUs) across all states and territories as part of the National Rural Generalist Training program. ACRRM President Dr Ewen McPhee says the College played a key role in the RGCU’s establishment and will continue to be part of their governance structure ensuring they focus on high-quality Rural Generalist (RG) training. “We welcome all investment in a RG workforce and, as the body responsible for setting the standards and national training program for the RG profession, we expect the RGCUs to work closely with the College to deliver the comprehensive training our registrars expect. “For rural and remote communities to have access to the healthcare they deserve, they need doctors who are trained across hospital and general practice settings to attain the skills to provide primary care alongside specialties such as emergency medicine, obstetrics, anaesthetics and mental health care,” Dr McPhee says. “The RGCUs are part of the National Rural Generalist Pathway (NRGP) which is being driven by National Rural Health Commissioner Associate Professor Ruth Stewart. “The NRGP is designed to attract more doctors to rural and remote areas to improve patient access, reduce hospital admissions and local service reliance, and minimise the need to travel for services.” It aligns with the College vision of having the right doctors in the right places delivering high quality healthcare to rural and remote communities. “When fully functional, these RGCUs will also enable ACRRM junior doctors and registrars to move easily between the hospital system, which is mostly run by state health services, and community-based clinics and services. “While we still have more to learn on their operational strategies, we are looking forward to continuing to be a part of the RGCU implementation process and developing a purpose-built training pipeline,” Dr McPhee says.