RACGP calls for junior placement program

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The RACGP has called on government to introduce a national general practice placement program for junior doctors.

In its 2018-19 Budget submission, the organisation has proposed government invest $114 million over four years to create 1,600 placements in the years to 2020-23.

It argues the central role of general practice in the provision of health care warrants greater investment in supporting junior doctors gaining more experience in primary care in their prevocational years.

"Increased exposure during the early years of prevocational training is also an important way of attracting prospective GPs to the specialty," it says, adding it would inform "career choices" and help enhance more doctors' knowledge of general practice.

"General practice is the most accessed health service in Australia and therefore all medical professionals should have a working knowledge and understanding of the specialty," it says.

"There are still no formal structures for providing junior doctors with experience in general practice," it says, highlighting a previous recommendation from the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council.

The organisation also recommends government invest $22 million in a range of initiatives focussed on general practice research and $90 million in a new incentive payment designed to reduce the use of antibiotics.