Rural educator signs Compact with Federal Government

  • Minister for Rural Health Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, ACRRM President Ruth Stewart, and Minister for Health the Hon Greg Hunt
    Minister for Rural Health Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, ACRRM President Ruth Stewart, and Minister for Health the Hon Greg Hunt

Photo: ACRRM

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

Another Alliance member has signed a compact with the Australian Government.

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) has told the Australian Doctor magazine the compact achieves several results including: encouraging non-VR GPs to become ACRRM fellows; assisting the College to take over part of the $250 million Australian General Practice Training Program; and a government commitment to grant the college full recognition as a certifier of specialist GPs.

ACRRM President, Associate Professor Ruth Stewart told Australian Doctor that "Signing this in no way limits our advocacy on the budget or any other matter related to the health of rural and remote communities.” - PL


ACRRM signed the Compact with the Australian Government in the lead up to the Federal Budget.

The Compact acknowledges that ACRRM is a peak body in setting standards for training general practitioners and rural generalist doctors, and it plays an important role in providing high quality health care to people living in rural and remote communities.

College President, Ruth Stewart, says the Compact “sets out a commitment to ongoing policy discussions on the part of both the College and the Australian Government.

It includes commitments to work together and continue conversations on workforce policy, planning and distribution, plus the national rural generalist pathway.

“We are confident that we have been able to negotiate a plan that enhances our commitment to advancing the health of rural communities,” Ruth said.

“The Compact does not compromise the College’s commitment or capacity to advocate strongly for rural and remote communities and represent the interests of its members and these activities will continue.”

“This is in line with the College vision for better health for rural and remote people through access to skilled rural doctors,” she said.

The College also saw several of its suggested initiatives picked up in the Federal Budget, including a commitment to a National Rural Generalist Pathway. ACRRM has been a leading voice for this initiative for more than a decade.

“The Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy ... included funding for teaching, training, recruitment and retention of rural doctors, nurses and allied health professionals,” Ruth said.

“The College has spent a lot of time consulting with members on their needs, and the needs of their communities.”

“This was the basis for our discussions with the Government and ACRRM’s Budget wish list – it’s great to see these reflected in the budget after our ongoing advocacy efforts in these areas.”

“We’ve long advocated for the need to recruit and retain the right health care professionals – equipped with the right training and skills – to rural and remote communities,” said Ruth Stewart.
 The Government’s rural health strategy should help to fill the training pipeline.”

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