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Minister launches first rural generalist training program for NSW

Mon, 04/03/2013
NSW Minister for Health, Minister for Medical Research, The Hon Jillian Skinner MP


In a first for NSW, Health Minister Jillian Skinner has launched a program which will address the shortage of skilled doctors in rural and regional areas of the state.

Mrs Skinner launched the inaugural NSW Rural Generalist Training Program (RGTP) alongside the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health, Melinda Pavey, and the program’s facilitators, mentors and participants.

Mrs Skinner said the program is an innovative, exciting initiative which will provide career pathways for new doctors to become rural General Practitioners (GPs) with additional advanced skills in at least one clinical discipline.

Put simply – what this program will deliver is more doctors for rural and regional areas,” Mrs Skinner said.

Our rural and regional communities understand just how important generalist training is which is why the NSW Government has been committed to getting this program up and running.

The participants will undergo 12 months of advanced skills training in major regional hospitals across NSW before continuing on their GP training path.

I have no doubt that their experiences in our wonderful rural and regional hospitals will do much to keep these skilled doctors in these areas.”

In launching the program, Mrs Skinner outlined that new doctors will now have a recognised career pathway, similar to pathways towards other medical specialities.

This program will produce proficient doctors who are able to work both in community general practice and at rural hospitals practising advanced procedural skills.

The NSW Rural Generalist Training Program will deliver new doctors and much needed services to rural communities”, Mrs Skinner said.

The NSW Rural Generalist Training Program will train 15 participants annually.

In 2013, these training positions at Tamworth, Maitland, Griffith, Wagga Wagga, Moruya, Nowra, Orange, Dubbo and Bathurst will help address shortages of general practitioners with advance procedural skills in rural areas,” Mrs Skinner said.

Mrs Pavey said in its first year the advanced skill set on offer will consist of either anaesthetics or obstetrics.

With the demand for services exceeding the supply of specialists in rural areas, obstetrics and anaesthetics are two areas that rural Local Health Districts have identified as most-needed,” Mrs Pavey said.

Mrs Skinner acknowledged the work of the Health Education and Training Institute in creating a pathway that combines general medical practice with hospital work.

This program will deliver real outcomes and I congratulate all involved for showing their commitment to improving health services in rural and regional communities.”

For more information on the NSW Rural Generalist Training Program, please visit:

MEDIA: Samantha Day – 0417 617 056