General Practitioner Industry Updates

General Practice Updates Australia | People Medical Consulting

In a constantly changing environment, we summarise the most important updates for General Practitioners. 

This week’s summary includes updates from:

  • AMC
  • AHPRA
  • Department of Health and Aged Care
  • 3GA/GP Programs
  • ACRRM
  • RACGP
  • OET
  • MBS

GENERAL UPDATES

BUDGET 2024-25 RELEASED

The budget for 2024-20245 was released with a focus on cheaper medicines, new Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, free mental health services and women’s health support in a stronger Medicare. The overall spending on Health and Aged Care in 2024–25 is $146.1 billion, with a five-year commitment to invest $10.7 billion ($8.5 billion in health and $2.2 billion in aged care). This includes investments to:

  • Strengthen Medicare ($2.8 billion)
    • $227.0 million to grow the number of Medicare Urgent Care Clinics to 87
    • $882.2 million to take pressure off hospitals, by supporting states and territories to provide hospital outreach in the community, deliver virtual care to prevent avoidable hospitalisations and upskill the residential aged care workforce
    • $361.0 million over four years to expand the range of free mental health services
      • Launching a new national early intervention service
      • Providing free mental health services through a network of 61 walk-in Medicare Mental Health Centres
      • Funding Primary Health Networks, in partnership with general practices, to bring on mental health nurses and other allied health supports to provide free care coordination and support to patients with complex needs
    • $69.8 million to increase the number of Medicare eligible MRI machines  
    • $266.9 million so Medicare rebates rise each year for nuclear medicine imaging and many common medical tests
    • $91.1 million to boost the supply of healthcare in areas of shortage

  • Deliver cheaper medicines ($4.3 billion)
    • $469.1 million to reduce patient costs and improve access to medicines (Medicines stay cheaper, instead of rising with inflation with the one-year freeze on the maximum co-payment of a PBS prescription for everyone with a Medicare card and a five-year freeze for pensioners and other concession cardholders.)
    • $3.4 billion to list new medicines on the PBS
    • $18.8 million to make Australia a destination for clinical trials
    • $1.4 billion over 13 years in ground-breaking new health and medical research

  • Invest in a fit and healthy Australia ($1.3 billion)
    • $25.3 million to prevent skin cancer, now and in the future
    • $38.8 million to continue funding for free bowel cancer screening
    • $43.9 million to work towards eliminating HIV transmission by 2030
    • $132.7 million to boost sports participation

  • Women’s health
    • $49.1 million for higher Medicare rebates to see a gynaecologist for complex conditions like endometriosis, a revolutionary new medicine for breast cancer, and 
    • $56.5 million for new Medicare services for midwives to provide longer consultations before and after the birth of a child.

You can read more information here and the whole budget links here

AMC CLINICAL CHANGE TO PASS REQUIREMENTS

AMC has decided to change the pass requirements of the Clinical Examination from 10 out of 14 stations to 9 out of 14 stations which will start from 21 March 2024. 

If you passed 9 out 14 stations from 21 March 2024, you will have the pass mark reflected in your AMC Candidate Account and results feedback. This change will not be applied to AMC clinical exam results prior to 21 March 2024. Read more here.

PRE-FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM (PFP) GUIDELINES AND APPLICATIONS

Pre-Fellowship Program (PFP) guidelines are released! You can read more about PFP here and the guidelines here.

Rural Workforce Agencies have closed their More Doctors for Rural Australia Program (MDRAP) applications as it will be replaced by PFP. NSW, QLD, VIC, TAS, WA, and Northern Territory are accepting PFP applications, but SA is still preparing before opening their applications. You can opt to be on their waiting list to let you know once PFP – SA applications are open. We’ll keep you posted on this!

INCOMING (FAST TRACK) REGISTRATION PATHWAY FOR SPECIALIST IMGs

The new pathway for general practice is set to come in October 2024 with specific eligible qualifications, so SIMGs don’t need to have their qualifications assessed by a college. Read more about the latest news here.

The Medical Board of Australia, along with AHPRA and specialist medical colleges, is creating a new pathway for SIMGs to have more medical specialists in Australia with anaesthesia, general practice, obstetrics and gynaecology and psychiatry as priorities. The current pathway to specialist registration will still be available even when the new pathway has been finalised. See more here.

LAUNCH OF MYINTEALTH POSTPONED

EPIC is set to be transitioned to MyIntealth. However, existing online services including EPIC have been restored due to time-sensitive issues. MyIntealth will launch at a later date, but there are no updates yet as of the moment. See the news here, and learn more about MyIntealth here.

MEDICAL COSTS FINDER

The Department of Health and Aged Care launched the Medical Costs Finder to assist the people in understanding the costs for common medical treatment and medical specialist services within Australia. See it here.

For GPs, check the guide on referrals to Medical Specialists (GP) here.

A NEW LOOK FOR HEALTH WORKFORCE LOCATOR

The software for the Health Workforce Locator (HWL) has been updated! Check the new map: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/health-workforce-locator/app#hwc-map 

WIP RURAL ADVANCED SKILLS INCENTIVE APPLICATIONS OPEN

WIP Rural Advanced Skills is a new Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) payment for GPs and Rural Generalists with advanced skills working in regional, rural and remote communities. Payments will commence from 1 January 2024, recognising services delivered during 2023, 2024 and 2025. See more here

The Federal Government also stated that eligible rural generalists and general practitioners (GPs) with advanced skills can now apply for incentives of up to $21,000 a year through a new payment known as the Workforce Incentives Program (WIP) – Rural Advanced Skills payment. Read more here.

HEALTH WORKFORCE CERTIFICATE

Visas for GPs Program ended last 16 September 2023. Health Workforce Certificates (HWC) is no longer a requirement for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) applying for their visa. Read more here.

GENERAL PRACTICE FUNDS – 

The federal budget for general practice in the next 5 years is now over $5.7 billion in order to provide better healthcare. Here is the specific breakdown of the funding, as stated by RACGP:

  • $445.1 million to support a 30% increase to the Workforce Incentive Program, increasing the maximum payment to $130,000 per practice
  • $99.1 million to facilitate the creation of a new level E MBS item for consultations lasting 60 minutes or longer
  • $3.5 billion over five years to triple the bulk billing incentive
  • $112 million over four years, separate the Strengthening Medicare funding, to introduce a new general practice in aged care incentive payment
  • Funding for longer telehealth item numbers, tied to registered patients (not bulk billing)
  • $145 million to support after-hours care, targeted at homeless and culturally and linguistically diverse people
  • $50 million for wound consumables, specific to patients with diabetes aged over 65 years
  • the extension of Practice Incentive Program Quality Improvement (PIP QI) payments for at least another 12 months
  • $4.5 million over five years to increase rural generalist trainees by expanding the single employer model trials by a further 10 trial sites from 1 July

Read more about the latest news here. For a detailed breakdown, you may also see it here.

DPA or DWS classification – 

Kindly check the Health Workforce Locator for the latest DPA and MMM status of locations that you are interested in. The MMM update is currently in progress.

You may access the link here: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/health-workforce-locator/health-workforce-locator

AMC – 

Apart from the various colleges accredited by AMC as CPD homes, DoctorPortal Learning also obtained initial accreditation as a CPD home. You may check their link here: https://www.dplearning.com.au/

AHPRA – 

Fees – From 9 August 2023, the registration renewal fee for medical practitioners outside NSW raised from $860 to $995 per year. The application fees have also been updated, especially for international medical graduates and general registration. You can check the new fees here. You can also check the National registration fees for 2023/24 (excluding NSW) here.

Telehealth – Updated telehealth guidelines took effect on 1 September 2023. Read more about the news here.

CPD – All doctors need to meet the CPD registration standard. Here’s a checklist for your 2024 CPD:

  • Have a CPD home in 2024
  • Log your CPD activities with your CPD home
  • Write a professional development plan before you start your annual CPD
  • Do 50 hours CPD each year, split across a range of activities:
    • 25 hours – reviewing performance and measuring outcomes:
      • you decide the best mix of these activities to suit your practice, with five hours minimum of each type
    • 12.5 hours – traditional learning or educational activities – reading, lectures, conferences etc
    • 12.5 hours of activities from any category – you allocate these CPD hours.

For more information, please click here: https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/Professional-Performance-Framework/CPD/What–do-I-need-to-do.aspx

Please note that you do not need a CPD home if you:

  • Interns in an accredited intern training program
  • PGY2 doctors participating in a PGY2 training program accredited by their state or territory postgraduate medical council (or equivalent), and/or working in supervised clinical practice positions in a hospital or general practice setting.
  • Doctors with limited registration in the public interest or limited registration for teaching or research and who have been granted registration for no more than four weeks
  • doctors with non-practising registration

Click here for the news: https://www.medicalboard.gov.au/News/Newsletters/April-2024.aspx#gotacpd 

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGED CARE – 

Since 1 October 2023, Australians holding a valid Medicare card or a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Veteran card have the choice to voluntarily register for MyMedicare which is a new voluntary patient registration model. You can read more about MyMedicare here.

See the MyMedicare introduction video here, and you can also watch how you can register in MyMedicare here.

MBS – 

Starting from 1 March 2024, there will be Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) changes which include administrative and policy changes, as well as the implementation of the Government’s response to recommendations from the independent MBS Review Taskforce (the Taskforce) that was agreed to as part of the 2023-34 Budget. Read more about it here: https://www.mbsonline.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/news-20240301

RACGP – 

PEP – Specialist Stream – From 22 November 2023 an exemption will apply to the following Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for Comparability Assessments:

  • Any 50 hours of CPD in the 12 months prior to applying for your comparability assessment will be eligible to be assessed – the requirements for demonstrating breadth and a limit on the maximum hours per day will be removed. (clause 3.3.4.a.a – 3.3.4.a.b). 
  • Ten Clinical Case Analyses will no longer be required to be submitted or assessed (clause 3.3.4.c)

*This will apply to all pending and new applications. Please click here for more information.


3GA/GP TRAINING PROGRAM UPDATES

ACRRM – 

  • Fellowship Training (IP, RGTS, & AGPT):
    • 2025 Semester 1 – Intake 2 application closes on 1 July 2024.
    • 2025 Semester 2 – Intake 1 application closes on 30 September 2024.
    • 2025 Semester 2 – Intake 2 application closes on 13 January 2025.

RACGP – 

  • FSP application dates for the 2025.1 cohort will be announced soon
  • 2025 AGPT applications closed last Monday 15 April 2024.

RVTS – 

  • RVTS applications for July intake have been closed.


GRANTS

RACGP also has a list of general practice research projects grants here, and has a Rural Procedural Grants Program which you can check here.

Local Primary Health Network (PHNs) may also have grants available for you. You can check your local PHN in the map locator, or see their contact details

We have listed the ongoing grants below. You may also check the PHN Grants Guidelines for further reference.


EXAM UPDATES

AMC MCQ Exam Dates and Venues – 

AMC MCQ exams scheduled until November 2024 are now available. Kindly check this link for the dates and venues: https://www.amc.org.au/pathways/standard-pathway/amc-assessments/mcq-examination/mcq-examination-events/

AMC Clinical Exam Dates and Venues – 

Scheduling for AMC Clinical Examinations from May to August 2024 has now closed. See here: https://www.amc.org.au/pathways/standard-pathway/amc-assessments/clinical-examination/

ACRRM – 

  • Be prepared to sit your ACRRM-PESCI within 2-3 months after sending your application, for its availability is dependent on demand.
  • ACRRM Rural Generalist Assessment (AST StAMPS Adult Internal Medicine) on 19 Oct 2024 will open for enrolment from 20 Jun 2024 – 01 Aug 2024.

IME – 

  • In-Person or Virtual PESCIs are available and can be applied online.

RACGP – 

  • PESCI Dates are offered from 4 weeks.

  • CCE
    • 2024.1 CCE exam results will be available on Thursday 25 July 2024.
    • 2024.2 CCE enrolment will be open on Tuesday 6 August 2024.
    • CCE fees will increase on 2024.2 intake from $4,990 to $5,225.

  • AKT

  • KFP
    • 2024.2 KFP exam date is on Saturday 6 July 2024.

OET – 

  • Incoming OET on Paper test dates for registration are 22 Jun 2024, 06 Jul 2024, 20 Jul 2024 and more for 2024.
  • Incoming OET on Computer test dates for registration are on 27 May 2024 – 31 May 2024 and 17 Jun 2024 – 22 Jun 2024.

There are more available test dates for the Occupational English Tests. You may check and schedule yours here: https://oet.com/test/book-a-test


OTHER IMPORTANT DATES AND NOTES on 2nd Quarter of 2024

  • 2024 GPCE Sydney is on May 24 – 26 at ICC Sydney.
  • 2024 RDAQ is on June 20 – 22 at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.

DID WE MISS SOMETHING IMPORTANT?

We’re here to help. If there is something we’re missing, please let us know! Our team are available at help@peoplemedical.com.au 

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS? 

Our team offers General Practitioners assistance with finding jobs and a career pathway, and Medical Facilities to find a new Medical Practitioner. We also help with the full application process with AHPRA, RACGP, ACRRM, Department of Health, Medicare including 19AA & 19AB. If we can help, please contact us at help@peoplemedical.com.au

People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions.

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