AMA warns against co-funded GP training places
The AMA was recently asked by the Department of Health to comment on a confidential draft of proposed guidelines for the Co-Funded GP Training Program (CFGPTP) foreshadowed in the 2014-15 Federal Budget.
The AMA is strongly opposed to the concept of the CFGPTP, seeing this as yet another example of the Commonwealth appearing to step away from its core funding responsibilities.
There are many concerns about how the CFGPTP might operate. Including:
- it could undermine the broad focus and quality of GP training
- inherent conflicts of interest, including getting the delicate balance right between service and training;
- the very real risk that GP trainees will be exposed to only one style of general practice;
- the vulnerable position of GP trainees in disputes with their employer
- the rumoured prospect that trainees could be bonded to employers in return for a co-funded training place
While the AMA remains opposed to the CFGPTP, if the Government proceeds with it, it appears that the only way these risks can be mitigated is by having the placements organised and administered through the existing network of Regional Training Organisations (RTO), with Colleges responsible for the selection of candidates.