Published by GPEx on May 1, 2021

It’s been a busy start to the year for the GPEx team, with a continued focus on strengthening the GP training pipeline and reducing the misalignment between the available workforce and community needs in South Australia.

Efforts are continuing, as we introduce new strategies and collaborations following the Medical Specialty Decision Making research and the forums GPEx led in 2020. These recommendations include clear messages around the need for positive and early exposure to quality training experiences, supported teaching practices, innovative models for GP placements, and a unified approach in the way we speak about general practice as a respected speciality from medical school through to hospital-based training. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with key stakeholders to implement these recommendations, and strengthen the training pipeline to increase the number of applicants to the AGPT program and future workforce.

I am pleased to advise of the establishment of a Rural Primary Care Advisory Committee to the Board. The Committee is an expert reference group to the GPEx Board, and provides a means for input by GP supervisors, registrars, executive and the Board into the development of GPEx strategy, programs, and related policy. The Committee’s long-term objective is to promote a sustainable rural medical workforce by attracting, training and retaining Rural GP/Generalist Trainees in South Australia. If you would like further information, or if you would like to be involved in this committee, please contact me via ceo@gpex.com.au.

The GPEx team ran a comprehensive campaign leading up to, and during, the first intake of the 2022 AGPT application period, which has just closed. This campaign involved webinars, hospital visits, digital promotion material, and our GP Expo Event, with the largest attendance at this event to date. I am pleased to advise that GPEx is well positioned at the close of this first intake, with SA receiving more applicants than allocated places in two out of three AGPT Pathways.

Last month, I met with the Minister for Regional Health’s advisor in Canberra, where we discussed key strategic issues facing GP training in South Australia, including the shortage of GPs especially in rural communities and Aboriginal Health, and the progress GPEx and AGPT is making for South Australian communities.

We are also very pleased that GPEx staff were able to conduct a site visit to Yadu Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in Ceduna, as well as Ceduna Hospital, to discuss community needs and plan for future accreditation. Great progress was made through the visits, with encouraging signs for the future. Specialist continuing professional development sessions are also being planned through the GPEx Extend program.

At the end of April, I attended the launch of the SA Rural Generalist program in Port Lincoln. The event was also attended by the Minister for Health, the Hon Stephen Wade MLC, and key stakeholders, and was a celebration of the increase in rural trainees and a shift in the training model enabling rural experiences from medical school to Fellowship. GPEx is proud to support the Rural Generalist pathway as a rewarding career that delivers a wide and varied scope of practice for our GPs of the future.

Over the next few months, we will continue to support our registrars and accredited practices with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in South Australia. We will also continue the integration of ModMed and GPEx, which includes welcoming staff from ModMed to the GPEx team.

We have received communication from the RACGP regarding their vision for the future of GP training, and have had discussions with the Department and ACRRM as to how they see the transition going forward. We will share what information we can when it becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to direct them to myself at ceo@gpex.com.au.

Stephanie Clota

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