Dr Ewen McPhee.
Dr Ewen McPhee. Kaitlyn Gutzke

Emerald GP Superclinic on shaky ground

EMERALD'S GP Superclinic looks to be on shaky ground with the Federal Government's axing of general practice training initiative designed to lure young doctors to the bush.

The Prevocational General Practice Placements Program, that brought doctors to Emerald Hospital for the past couple of years, was scrapped this week.

Emerald GP Dr Ewen McPhee said the PGPPP had been destined for incorporation into the GP Superclinic training program.

"This will threaten the viability of the superclinic just like the co-payment issue," Dr McPhee said.

"Without any consultation and as a complete surprise to medical educators and training organisations, this program has been cut, along with major changes to the training of GPs.

"Whatever opportunity existed to attract young doctors to rural practice will suffer as a number of rural programs are stopped or devolved back to the health department."

Rural Doctors Association of Australia Dr Ian Kamerman said the PGPPP axing would put an end to any junior doctor's exposure to general or rural practice at the critical time they were determining their medical career path.

"This program works wonders in getting more young doctors into general and rural practice... and cutting it is false economy."

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