Primary care needs to be recognised as the cornerstone of our health care system, and reforms implemented so that medical students and graduates can experience and envisage themselves in a rewarding and supported general practice career. Embedding training within the model of primary care, increasing the number of quality student placements, growing the GP academic and GP-researcher workforce, and ensuring we properly support the health needs of GPs themselves, are some of the key elements that must be prioritised to ensure we produce the future general practice workforce Australia needs.
Medical Deans contributes in a variety of ways to the national health policy agenda, particularly in the areas of professional entry-level medical education and training and medical research. Written submissions are an important feature of that contribution.
Medical Deans’ submission highlights the need for a whole of pipeline approach to addressing the shortage of GP services in rural and remote Australia and outer-metropolitan corridors of population growth, moving away from disconnected and disparate initiatives. This must include investment in a substantial pipeline of domestic-trained doctors wanting, well-prepared for, and helped into primary care and generalist consultant in these areas; based on co-designed, targeted and connected pathways so those medical students aspiring to become General Practitioners are supported and enabled to do so, and choose to practice in the locations they are most needed.
Medical Deans’ submission to the Department of Health’s consultation emphasises the need for mental health competencies and clinical placements to be embedded throughout the training continuum and funded as part clinical practice business models, and the important role of primary care and General Practitioners in coordinating and delivering mental health support and services.
Medical Deans’ submissions to the Australian Medical Council’s consultations on the Review of the National Framework for Prevocational Medical Training. The submissions emphasise the importance of promoting community-based training, improving the transition to practice, supporting aligned career opportunities within postgraduate training and enabling access to the proposed e-Portfolio during medical school.
Medical Deans’ submission to the Department of Health’s consultation on the Draft Report of How Accreditation Practices Impact Building a Non-GP Rural Specialist Medical Workforce. The submission emphasises the importance of leveraging the connections and infrastructure in place to not only build capacity in rurally based specialist training but also to connect this training across the pipeline and with future career opportunities in rural and regional areas as well as the need to strengthen regional governance and brokerage to support this.
Medical Deans’ submission to the Australian Medical Council and Australian Digital Health Agency’s consultation on the draft Capability Framework in Digital Health in Medicine. The submission emphasises the need to focus on capabilities required to support students being able to adapt to disruption, and the benefits of taking a principles-based approach to the development of the Framework.
Medical Deans supports the recommendations of the Draft National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workforce Strategy and Implementation Plan in relation to medical education and training. In particular, our submission emphasises the need for greater engagement with students during high school (and earlier) to encourage and foster interest in a future career in medicine and health, and to provide the support needed.
Medical Deans’ submission to the Department of Health’s consultation on the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program’s Final Evaluation Report. The submission emphasises the need to focus on outcomes, not inputs, and that the national reporting framework reflects this as well as sharing best practice, and the importance of strengthening regional governance.
The Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training program is an internationally recognised course developed in Australia, which has been specifically adapted for health professional students. The feedback from student participants and universities has been overwhelmingly positive, with evidence showing the training leads to improved knowledge, skills and abilities for the participants.
Medical Deans proposal supporting the need to address the maldistribution of the health workforce to increase the numbers of doctors and other health professionals living and working in rural and regional areas.
Medical Deans response to the proposed changes to the ‘Health Practitioner Regulation National Law’ as outlined in the consultation paper “Regulation of Australia’s health professions: Keeping the National Law up to date and fit for purpose” – including feedback on governance matters, strengthening linkages, voluntary undertakings, show causes matters, and right to appeal a caution.
Medical Deans made a submission to the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) consultation to inform the development of the second set of Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2018-2020.