Rural Generalism boost in Budget welcomed by ACRRM

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) welcomes the commitment to funding for a National Rural Generalist Pathway as outlined in further detail in the Federal Budget announcement.

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) welcomes the commitment to funding for a National Rural Generalist Pathway as outlined in further detail in the Federal Budget announcement.

College President Dr Ewen McPhee says the four-year funding allocation of $62.2 million to support the application to the Australian Medical Council for recognition of Rural Generalist (RG) Medicine as a sub-specialty within general practice, the expansion of the Junior Doctor Innovation Fund, and establishment of support mechanisms for Rural Generalist training, provides the initial impetus for the ongoing development of the RG Pathway.

“As a long-time champion of rural generalism, ACRRM is committed to make a significant contribution to getting the National Rural Generalist Pathway up and running,” Dr McPhee says.

“We know this initiative will repopulate country towns with skilled Rural Generalists and improve health outcomes for rural and remote people by giving them greater access to the health care services much needed in their local communities.”

Dr McPhee also acknowledges the funding commitment to general practice.

“Lifting the freeze on MBS rebates for a number of MBS GP items will positively impact rural patients and rural practices,” he says. 

“We also acknowledge the increased investment in the Practice Incentives Program and look forward to hearing more detail about the voluntary patient enrolment initiative for those aged over 70.

“These announcements, however, do not diminish the need for significantly more funding and structural reforms for General Practice to secure its capacity to deliver high quality, cradle-to-grave care into the future.”

Dr McPhee expresses hope that the Budget announcements, in particular funding for the National Rural Generalist Pathway, will provide a platform for further commitments to rural and remote health from all parties in the lead-up to the election.

“The College urges all political parties to address the ongoing disparity in health outcomes between rural Australians and their urban counterparts through proactive and targeted support in areas such as rural and remote mental health; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health; and rural occupational health and safety,” he says.

 

 

Souce: ACRRM