10 May 2023
GPRA President statement/response on 2023-24 Federal Budget
The following statement can be attributed to Dr Karyn Matterson,
President, General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA):
“GPRA welcomes the Federal Budget’s Medicare investment and support the foundation of GP-led multidisciplinary practice, as well as bringing about relief to the most vulnerable members of our society with relative increases to the bulk billing rate.
“The Government has made a good start to strengthening the attractiveness of general practice to our nation’s future doctors. Medical students overnight for the first time in a long time, have seen a Government confirm that general practice matters.
“For those GP Registrars who practice in bulk billing clinics and work off the percentage earnings model, this means some increase to their salaries offering relief to the ever-increasing costs of living and impending increases to HECS debts.
“GPRA commends the support for establishment of GP-led team-based care. We look forward to supporting our GP Registrars to work effectively leading this model.
“Whilst we are disappointed that the Budget did not contain supplemental increases for all our Members to achieve base rate parity with their non-GP colleagues, we do note the extension of the Single Employer Model (SEM trials) and look forward to further detail.
“We continue to encourage the Federal Government to develop a scheme which allows portability of entitlements for GP Registrars in any speciality GP training program, regardless of their geographical location – we don’t want to see a rural and urban GP training divide.
“We caution the enticement of pre-Fellowship International Medical Graduates, especially from vulnerable developing countries, without the necessary removal of burdensome red tape which still entangles our IMGs on Fellowship programs or already recognised as our Fellowed colleagues. We especially note the requirement for these pre-Fellowship IMGs to work in rural and remote locales, probably in Visiting Medical Officer (VMO) models, and call for assurances that these doctors will have the essential collegiate and training supports wrapped around them to deliver essential care to these in-need communities.
“GPRA will continue to advocate on behalf of its Members on all of our key priorities, including developing a future GP workforce, base rate parity, portability of entitlements, and support for our IMG members with training costs, ensuring quality training for all GP Registrars across the training continuum. “