General Practice Matters

Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Submission on the application of a new geographical classification system, the Modified Monash Model, to the General Practice Rural Incentives Programme.

On 31 October 2014, Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash announced major changes to Australian workforce classification systems, aimed at better addressing the shortage of health workers in regional, rural and remote locations.

A new rural classification system, the Modified Monash Model (MMM) will be introduced for the purposes of health workforce programmes. One of the first programmes to transition to the MMM will be the General Practice Rural Incentives Programme (GPRIP).

On 24 November 2014, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, approved the establishment of an Independent Expert Panel (IEP) to review, consult and report back to Government on the application of the MMM classification system to the GPRIP and opportunities for junior doctors to train in rural locations. Members of the IEP are:

  • Dr Steve Hambleton – immediate past president of the Australian Medical Association and a general practitioner in Brisbane (QLD).
  • Dr Paul Mara – former President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and current practice principal at the Gundagai Medical Centre (NSW).
  • Professor John Humphreys – Emeritus professor of Rural Health Research at Monash University, who led the design of an improved classification system for rural areas, which is the basis for the Government’s preferred new Modified Monash Model.

The IEP will also lead a public consultation, which will involve a call for public submissions on the changes. The Department of Health is seeking submissions from individuals and organisations, and is requesting your assistance in broadcasting the link for public submissions on your organisation’s webpage. This broadcast is as follows:

“The Department of Health is seeking public submissions on the application of a new geographical classification system, the Modified Monash Model, to the General Practice Rural Incentives Programme, and on opportunities for junior doctors to train in rural locations. Submissions will be accepted until 5pm 15 December 2014. Information on how to make comments through a submission can be found on the Department of Health Consultation Hub Webpage at www.consultations.health.gov.au.”

To make a contribution to the QAIHC submission please send your comment to Mary Martin GPET Project Officer at: marymartin@qaihc.com.au by midday Thursday, 11th December, 2014

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