Call to better support GPs’ language skills

ENSURING international medical graduates (IMGs) are better supported so that they can communicate effectively with country folk is the crux of the IMG language issue, a training provider says.

Dr Bruce Mugford, CEO of SA regional training provider Sturt Fleurieu, said media reporting of his comments made during a recent parliamentary inquiry focusing on registration of IMGs – in which he suggested that many were not up to standard – had missed his point that English proficiency didn’t guarantee good communication.

“What happens when someone comes [into the practice] and says ‘I’m crook in the guts’?” Dr Mugford said.

“We remain respectful of the contribution [IMGs] make to this community but we need to support them to bring those communication skills up to the point that’s appropriate for practising in the country,” he added.

Rural Doctors Association of South Australia