UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Dr Ewen McPhee opposes the Federal Government axing valuable GP training programs.
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Dr Ewen McPhee opposes the Federal Government axing valuable GP training programs. Kaitlyn Gutzke

Emerald doctor says GP training cut will hurt

THE MEDICAL community is up in arms about the Federal Government's decision to dump a number of GP training programs.

The General Practice Education and Training program will cease to exist by the end of the year and the Prevocational General Practice Placements program has been scrapped.

Emerald's Dr Ewen McPhee said there had been "significant disappointment about the decision" particularly given the past 13 years of the GP training program had seen a rise from 400 trainee GPs a year to more than 1600.

"The success of the program has been in promoting, selecting and training enthusiastic young doctors in general practice. There is uncertainty around what will take the place of GPET and how GPs will be trained into the future," he said.

"There is much speculation about large private companies training their own GPs and how the regional training providers will respond."

Dr McPhee said the PGPP had helped bring doctors into country areas.

"Attracting people to rural and regional areas requires a pipeline approach by selecting the right students entering university, supporting medical students through their training and mentoring them into practice," he said.

"The government has disrupted that pipeline, creating uncertainties about the future for a rural GP workforce."


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