COVID-19 highlights the vulnerabilities associated with current GP Registrar employment arrangements
The AMA is urging the Commonwealth Government to develop a single employer model for GP registrars as an alternative to fee-for-service arrangements to deliver equitable remuneration and employment conditions for GP registrars, and between GP registrars and non-GP registrars, while at the same time meeting the needs of supervising practices.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the industrial fragility and lack of protections for GP registrars under current employment arrangements. During the early stages of the pandemic, some general practices had to reconsider whether to retain their trainees due to a decline in patient load and practice revenue caused by COVID-19.
At the time, GP registrars reported a decrease in patient presentations, redistribution of work to supervisors, decreased clinical rostered hours, and in some instances, loss of job and training position. This affected income, job security and access to leave.
While a range of support initiatives have subsequently been able to ensure that only a small number of GP registrars have been displaced due to COVID19, the profession should be very worried that in this time of crisis ongoing employment of GP registrars has been dependent on initiatives like Job Keeper.
The AMACDT has developed an information sheet - Supporting General Practice registrars during the COVID-19 pandemic - which outlines AMA advocacy priorities to support GP registrars during the COVID-19 pandemic.
See also AMA Budget Submission 2020-21, page 20 of 22.