Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Newsletter Edition 35 (October 2021)

Tasmanian Rural Generalist Program

In This Edition:

  • From the Director
  • TRGP Team Members
  • Staff Profile - Elaine Marshall
  • Tasmanian Rural Generalist Scholarship Recipients
  • State Government Support for Rural Training
  • New Anaesthetic Diploma for GPs and RGs
  • Congratulations to Dr Svetlana Dolguina on her RG Certification
  • Consultation Survey - GP Retention and Funding in North/North-West
  • Health Workforce 2040 Strategy
  • Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2022

From the Director

My name is Professor Lizzi Shires, and I am very excited to be appointed as the Director of Tas Rural Pathways. I have been a GP on the north-west coast for 17 years and am also the Director of the Rural Clinical School in Burnie. I have been a rural GP all my life, both here and in the UK, and have always lived and worked in the communities where I practice. I have Advanced Skills in Public Health and was also a Consultant in Public Health in the UK.

We remain under doctored in our rural areas, but we are fortunate in that rural research has shown us how to grow our own rural doctors. We know that doctors who have grown up in a rural area and who are able to study and train in a rural area are more likely to stay rurally in their career. We have been working for the last decade on creating rural pathways into medicine. We have worked with local schools to create programs for school children in health and health careers. We also have a dedicated rural application pathway for rural students which has enabled more students to enter medicine over the last six years. Last year we piloted our first end to end training opportunity in the north and north-west, allowing students from first to final year to study all year in Burnie and Launceston. These students have now completed their first year studying rurally and most intend to progress their studies rurally for 2022.

I am looking forward to extending my role into the postgraduate training space. Through the pathway, we encourage younger doctors to enjoy all the benefits of living rurally and to gain the skills needed for their communities. We also hope to support established GPs looking for a sea or tree change to work more rurally or remotely. Tasmania is in a unique position to provide tailored training and support for doctors at all stages of their careers who want to join us in working rurally and remotely.

Lastly, a special thank you to Dr Peter Arvier for his extensive work over the years in developing this role. We wish him all the best in his new adventures.

Professor Lizzi Shires – Director, Tas Rural Pathways

TRGP Team Members

Professor Lizzi Shires

Elaine Marshall
Project and Policy Coordinator

Sharee Taylor
Project Officer

Jodie Hanlon
Marketing, Media and Communications

For all general enquiries, please email tasrural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au or phone 03 6430 1630.

For enquiries relating to the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference, please email tasruralhealthconference@health.tas.gov.au.

Staff Profile - Elaine Marshall

My name is Elaine Marshall and I am the Project and Policy Coordinator for the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Coordination Unit. I am responsible for continuing the great work started by my predecessor Naomi van den Hoff. Originally from Ulverstone on the beautiful north-west coast, I currently live in Hobart with my husband Mick, our children Andrew (10) and Emma (8) and our Border Collie Bouncer who keeps me running! I have a Bachelor of Human Movement (Exercise Science) and have most recently worked as the Physical Activity Policy Officer for 10 years in the Department of Health.

I have always been interested in ways to support and improve the health of Tasmanian’s living outside the metropolitan areas. This was primarily in relation to provision of physical activity opportunities through programs and suitable facilities in rural and regional areas, but I am also strongly aware of the role primary healthcare workers have in promoting active lifestyles and the subsequent positive health outcomes for the community.

I look forward to working with you all.

Tasmanian Rural Generalist Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to Claire Griffiths, Luke Heathcote, Angus Baty and Aleisha Herington (L-R in images below) who are the 2021 recipients of the rural generalist scholarships.

We received several excellent scholarship applications from final year medical students interested in training on the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway. It was very rewarding to see the high calibre of students committed to working in rural health. The scholarship encourages students to continue their postgraduate pathway in a rural area, with the funding distributed over three years. Scholarship recipients undertake their intern and RMO years in Burnie and Launceston and spend at least one term at one of our remote general practices.

We look forward to working with Claire, Luke, Angus and Aleisha as they transition to their intern year.

State Government Support for Rural Training

The State Government has committed over four million dollars to support rural doctor training in the north-west. The recent budget announced a one-million-dollar capital to support the development of a Rural Medical Workforce Centre based at the Mersey. The three point three-million-dollar funding for staff is for dedicated Rural Generalist posts over three years. This will enable doctors to undertake the rotations they require to complete their RACGP or ACCRM training. We will be bringing our stakeholders together to establish a consultative group on how to achieve the best outcomes for this funding opportunity.

New Anaesthetic Diploma for GPs and RGs

From 2023, GPs in rural and remote Australia will be able to access a new Rural Generalist Anaesthesia qualification, thanks to a collaboration between the RACGP, ACCRM and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA). It will replace the current qualification that is overseen by the three colleges under the guidance of the Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA). The colleges have been working towards the development of the diploma for a number of years and have already undertaken significant work on the curriculum. Associated Professor Deborah Wilson, a rural Tasmanian Anaesthetist chaired the Tripartite Committee of Rural Generalist Anaesthesia.

Congratulations to Dr Svetlana Dolguina on her RG Certification

Congratulations to Dr Svetlana Dolguina on gaining recognition as a Rural Generalist doctor in Tasmania. Dr Dolguina has achieved her Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice (FRACGP/FARGP) with Advanced Specialised Training in Mental Health. Dr Dolguina’s contributions to the northern community are highly valued and well recognised by her colleagues. Dr Dolguina will be formally presented with her RG Certificate at the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference in March 2022.

Consultation Survey - GP Retention and Funding in North/North-West

Primary Health Tasmania, in partnership with HR+ and the Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania, have designed a survey to be used as part of a consultative process to understand perspectives regarding recruitment and retention of GPs in the north and north-west of Tasmania. This consultation process will support decision making regarding the use of the recruitment and retention incentive funding (RRIF) to ensure there is targeted, meaningful and sustainable impact on GP capacity and sustainable workforce in these regions.

Click here to access the survey, funding announcement media release and background papers.

Please note this consultation survey will close at 5:00pm Friday 15 October 2021.

Health Workforce 2040 Strategy

The Health Workforce 2040 strategy was released in early September. The strategy will shape a health workforce that meets the needs of Tasmanians now and into the future. It aims to improve our workforce through actions to develop staff, recruit efficiently and build a positive workplace environment.

Click here to access the Health Workforce 2040 strategy.

Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2022

The 2022 Tasmanian Rural Health Conference is planned as a face-to-face event in Launceston around the weekend of 19-20 March.

Expect the conference to have an interesting mix of presentations, panel discussions, clinical updates, hands on workshops as well as re-visiting some of the important messages and evolving changes in rural practice that were highlighted in the 2021 virtual conference. Including some great social opportunities for all that important networking and collegiality.

RDAT members are eligible for a reduced registration fee and medical students will also be able to take advantage of a heavily discounted registration.

As the program takes shape, we will keep you informed via this newsletter and on the TRGP website conference page.

All conference enquiries to tasruralhealthconference@health.tas.gov.au.

Join us next year in Launceston.  Tasmanian rural Health Conference 2022, 19-20 March (to be confirmed).  A join initiative of the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway (Coordination Unit) and the Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania.  Tas.RuralHealthConference@health.tas.gov.au

Current Vacancies

THS recruitment campaign for Interns, RMOs and Registrars

For GP registrar placements through GPTT, refer to the GPTT placement process information

For GP vacancies, please visit HRPlusTas

Events – 2021

Check out the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway calendar for events of interest to rural practitioners.

Email tasrural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au to have your event included in the calendar.

The Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the National Rural Generalist Pathway Initiative.