ACRRM president Dr Dan Halliday (Photo: ACRRM)

December 7, 2023

Medical groups are urging GPs and community members to have their say about a push to have “rural generalist medicine” recognised as a specialist field.

Rural generalists provide a wide range of services in rural and remote Australia but at the moment their unique skills are not officially recognised.

Public consultation on the proposal, which is being considered by the Medical Board of Australia, closes in less than a week.

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) said they had been “buoyed by the conversation” that had been generated so far by the proposal.

ACRRM president Dr Dan Halliday said feedback showed there was a growing understanding across Australia about the role of rural generalists and the unique scope of services they can bring to remote and rural communities.

“Rural generalist recognition is an important lever to building this remote and rural workforce,” Dr Halliday said.

“It will create a single national rural generalist quality standard which is purpose-designed and easily understood by systems, patients, and doctors.”

RACGP vice-president Prof Michael Clements said health was the “literal and figurative beating heart” of rural communities.

“This is a great opportunity for the people this is most important for – our rural and remote communities, and GPs and others in rural health – to ensure rural generalism is robust and meets the needs of those communities,” Prof Clements said.

“Anyone can have input and it’s critical those voices are heard in Canberra.

“The Australian Medical Council will review all feedback and provide advice the Medical Board of Australia and pass that advice to the Health Minister’s committee for final determination.

“We thank everyone who already contributed and encourage others to have their say before next Tuesday (December 12).”

Instructions on making a submission can be found on the Medical Board of Australia website

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