Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health

    Federal Government commitment needed on GP training positions

    8/12/2017 7:00 AM
    • Solution needed to secure allocation of more Australian General Practice Training positions for WA applicants
    • Western Australia disadvantaged in its attempts to develop a home grown General Practice workforce
    • State needs more General Practitioners in regional and rural areas

    The McGowan Government today called on the Federal Government to ensure more Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) positions were allocated for Western Australian applicants within WA.


    Without a commitment for additional, permanent State-based positions, local applicants will be forced to travel interstate to access rural AGPT places.


    This issue has the potential to undermine the development of WA's future GP workforce.


    The Federal Government must immediately act to:

    • improve the alignment between the utilisation of allocated AGPT positions and State workforce needs;
    • promote the principle that priority should be given to accommodating suitable candidates to complete the AGPT in their State of origin in their preferred college program in the first instance, before placements are filled from interstate; and
    • reach agreement with the respective colleges on the release and transfer of unfilled AGPT places, as outlined above, and in accordance with any developed guidelines.

    General Practice is an increasingly important area where effective treatment, advice and intervention can prevent costly inpatient hospital stays.


    With the Western Australian Department of Health projecting an estimated shortfall of 974 GPs in WA by 2025, failure to act will intensify this issue, with talented medical students forced to move interstate to complete their training.


    Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:


    "A recent review of General Practitioners undertaken by the Western Australian Department of Health identified that WA has a GP workforce maldistribution with shortfalls identified in rural and remote locations.


    "It is vital that all WA applicants suitable for training can complete their training in this State.


    "The Federal Government must act to ensure WA can maximise its GP vocational trainee throughput, and strengthen the pathways to facilitate progression into rural and remote locations."


    Minister's office - 6552 6500