Published by GPEx on August 23, 2019

CEO Update

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – September

With Father’s Day around the corner, we look to raise our awareness of prominent health issues that the men in our lives face. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month; Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australia with 20,000 men diagnosed and close to 3,300 deaths each year.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has a number of campaigns running throughout the month that we can all get involved in to help create awareness and raise the much-needed funds to help in the fight against prostate cancer.

Visit to find out more.

AGPT Program – 1st Intake numbers continue to cause concern

As reported in the last newsletter and at recent workshops, applicant numbers for the AGPT Program across Australia have been declining over the last three years. Every state in Australia is facing a shortage of RACGP rural pathway candidates. Every state is also facing a shortage of ACRRM candidates. AGPT needs over 1,500 candidates nationwide, but RACGP is 141 rural pathway candidates short and 164 general pathway candidates short, ACRRM is 79 candidates short: this equates to over 380 candidates or 25% nationally.

South Australia has the lowest number of program applicants, at the conclusion of the first intake, the following positions were filled, a total of 72 of 136 available positions.

Rural Pathway:
ACRRM 7 filled of 15 available position
RACGP 15 filled of 55 available positions

General Pathway:
RACGP 50 filled of 66 available positions
Final Intake Campaign – 2020 AGPT Program

With the final intake for the 2020 AGPT Program due to open on Monday 2nd September, we are in the middle of our second campaign to generate interest in general practice training and in particular rural general practice training in South Australia to recruit applicants into the program, not only for next year’s intake but the years to follow.

With the recent refreshment of the GPEx brand, it is paramount that we stay relevant in the eyes of our target market; those RMOs, Interns and upcoming Medical Students (Millennials and Generation Y) will be our next generation of GPs. This new campaign has the energy of the refreshed look and will be heavily skewed to digital channels in order to reach and engage with our target audiences.

GPEx’s Life of a GP Campaign showcases the positive aspects of a career in General Practice: diversity, community and flexibility. The campaign captures our hero GPs in differing scenarios, illustrating the variety of a career in general practice.

A national digital campaign kicked off on the 1st of August and is already illustrating positive results. We will ramp this up further over the next few weeks leading up to and during the application period Monday 2nd September to Monday 23rd September, 2019.

Printed versions of our Life as a GP campaign poster have been distributed to all Training Practices around the state to display on practice notice boards, as well as to South Australian tertiary hospitals for placement in RMO/Intern break rooms. Additionally, a schedule of hospital meetings and presentations has been drawn up to provide further information about the AGPT program, application and selection details for Interns and RMOs.

We hosted an Expo on 21st August, where over 20 potential applicants engaged with our Medical Education and AGPT Teams. Presentations about the AGPT Program, application, and selection process and life as a GP were delivered, and much discussion was had during the breakout sessions.

We encourage you to all share the Life as a GP campaign with your networks, both on your social media platforms and through your Practices and wider community.

Finally, we wish to thank Dr Emily Kirkpatrick and Dr Sean Black-Tiong for being our GP heroes for the campaign.

An update on the transition process – Department of Health to Colleges

We continue to work with both Colleges to ensure a smooth transition process by the end of May 2020 when our Department of Health agreement will be novated to two separate College agreements. Both Colleges have finalised their transition agreements with the Department of Health and are now in discussion about arrangements post 2021.

Rural Workforce Strategy

Earlier this month, Health and Wellbeing Minister, Stephen Wade, released his Consultation Draft for the Rural Medical Workforce Plan, part of the SA Rural Health Workforce Strategy. Its objective is “To deliver a plan to recruit, train and develop the health professionals needed to deliver country health services.”

The Rural Support Service team has commenced a schedule of regional visits to discuss the Plan and there is also opportunity for all stakeholders to provide written feedback. The first consultations were held in the Limestone Coast, Berri, Murray Bridge and Kangaroo Island during early August and were well attended by local clinicians in a highly valuable evening discussion session.

Upcoming consultations are on the following dates:

29 August: Clare
2 September: Victor Harbor – (to be confirmed)
3 September: Tanunda – (to be confirmed)
4 September: Mt Barker – (to be confirmed)
5 September: Gawler – (to be confirmed)
9 September: Port Lincoln
10 September: Ceduna
11 September: Wudinna, Kimba and Whyalla
17 September: Port Augusta
18 September: Peterborough, Jamestown, Booleroo and Orroroo (to be confirmed)
24 September: Port Pirie
25 September: Southern Yorke Peninsula and Northern Yorke Peninsula.
Now is the time to band together and collaborate to achieve a more sustainable strategy to deliver a stronger workforce for the future of all South Australians.

I encourage you to review the Plan and provide your feedback to ensure sustainable and appropriate medical services for all our rural and remote communities.

Provide your feedback directly via phone or email to:
Dr Robyn Anderson, Principle Policy Officer, Rural Support Service, SA Health
P: 08 8226 7192

Feel free to get in touch if you have any direct questions for me.

Best Regards