RACGP welcomes Tasmanian Labor commitment to GP training

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has welcomed Tasmanian Labor’s commitment to fund training for qualified doctors from overseas to train in Tasmania.

Following a call from RACGP Tasmania, the party announced it will fund qualified overseas-trained doctors to train as GPs in Tasmania under the College’s Fellowship Support Program, providing the state with a significant incentive for these doctors to move to the state and join its future GP workforce.

The Fellowship Support Program is a self-funded, 24-month education and training program designed to support international medical graduates (IMGs) to qualify as a specialist GP.

The party has also committed $2 million to allow 50 GPs to undertake emergency care training, and to legislate to allow GPs to co-prescribe for patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Tasmania Chair Dr Toby Gardner said funding the Fellowship Support Program would help to ensure a pipeline of highly qualified GPs for the state.

“When a practice can’t find a general practitioner to take over when a GP retires, it simply has to close,” he said.

“Many of my GP colleagues are thinking about retirement – around one in every three GPs is planning to retire in the next five years, according to our 2023 Health of the Nation report. Meanwhile, we’ve seen story after story about essential practices facing closure because they can’t meet their workforce needs.

“Funding the Fellowship Support Program gives those GPs more opportunities to find a successor and retire, sure that their community will be well-served.

“This is a good move, and cost-effective at only $880,000 per year to train 20 new GPs. We have seen a big response to Victoria’s incentive of up to $40,000 for doctors to train as GPs, with a big increase in the number of GPs training there after that grant was announced. We know this kind of incentive works.

“We also know that registrars and other health professionals build strong bonds to the communities they train in – doctors who train in rural regions are more likely to choose to live in those areas long-term. In a rural town, that can mean the difference between a strong community and one that struggles to assure older residents and young families that they’ll have a local GP.

“It’s an excellent investment and a great commitment by Tasmanian Labor.”


/Public Release.