Fact Sheet - Rural Primary Care Intern Positions in Tasmania

The THS and Ochre understand that there is some concern and confusion around the new rural primary care intern positions proposed for Tasmania in 2018. We acknowledge the late notice of this program and apologise for any concern this has caused.

Thank you to RUSTICA for providing a student perspective on the current proposal. The following information will hopefully address some of the concerns the students have raised.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Intern Terms in General Practice

Will I be forced to go to a rural primary care placement?

It is not the intention of the THS and Ochre to force people to attend a rural primary care term. The THS intends to gather expressions of interest for interns to attend one of a variety of statewide locations, including King and Flinders Island, Queenstown, St Helens and Huonville. There may be opportunity to attend a rural primary care term in a region the same OR different to the region your hospital job is located.

How will this affect my intern terms?

Each training site will be required to undertake PMCT accreditation, the same as other hospital terms. Interns can be reassured they will receive their mandatory training across the 12 months, including general medicine, general surgery and emergency medicine, in order to receive general registration at the end of their intern year. The rural primary care term will count as a non-core term making up part of your 47 weeks required intern training for registration, as per advice from AHPRA.

The rural primary care term will provide opportunity for hands-on patient experiences in multiple settings. We believe it will be at least equivalent in quality to any other intern term and beneficial regardless of future intention to be a GP.

PMCT accreditation has been applied for. The outcome of this process will be advised in due course and is a mandatory requirement for these terms to go ahead. New intern positions will not be offered until accreditation is achieved. We expect to know the outcome of this process around the end of August, 2017.

What sort of teaching will I get?

Ochre have designed a comprehensive primary care teaching program for your intern term. In addition, you will have bedside teaching with your supervisor whilst seeing patients and wave consulting in the clinic, as well as on ward rounds in the local hospital or aged care facility.

I am concerned about isolation and transport. What is provided?

Interns will be provided an allowance for travel to and from the location of their term at the start and finish of their term, as well as provision to return home midway through their term, at which time they would be eligible to take some of their annual leave. Ochre's Medical Director will also be a point of contact if additional support is required. The new Hub will also provide independent support for interns completing rural primary care terms.

Where will I live?

The University of Tasmania, through the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program, will support access to free accommodation for interns during their primary care rotation. Primarily, this will be on a shared basis at the University's accommodation facilities in the local community. For those interns wishing to accommodate their immediate family as well (i.e. spouse/partner and young children) the University will identify and fund suitable accommodation. Specific accommodation needs will be considered on a case by case basis.

I am an International Medical Student. As an intern can I go on a rural primary care term?

We do not foresee any issues with any interns being eligible for rural primary care terms.

I am looking to complete my General Practice training hospital term requirements in PGY1 and PGY2. How will a rural primary care intern year affect this?

Currently the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) require terms in surgery, medicine, emergency medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology and anaesthetics (or equivalents). A rural primary care intern position will not count towards your hospital requirements.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) require terms in surgery, medicine, emergency medicine, paediatrics and a total of 7 different hospital terms (i.e. 3 more that are different). We have confirmation that rural primary care terms WILL be counted as one of the 7 hospital terms for the RACGP.

Can I count my primary care intern rotation toward my Bonded Medical Placement return of service?

No. The 2015 BMP handbook outlines that intern rotations cannot be counted toward BMP return of service for those commencing BMP in 2015 nor earlier.

For more information, please refer to the handbook and your BMP contract. or contact the BMP Scheme directly on BMPScheme@health.gov.au

If you commenced BMP in 2016 or later, you may be eligibile to count your intern rotations as BMP return of service. For more information, please refer to the handbook and your BMP contract. Or contact the BMP Scheme directly on BMPScheme@health.gov.au.

Please send further questions to:

Sharee Taylor (Project Support Officer for the Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Pathway) sharee.taylor@dhhs.tas.gov.au