Budget cuts to GP training ‘destabilising’

RACGP president Dr Liz Marles said decisions revealed in the budget to scrap General Practice Education and Training Ltd (GPET) and dump a placement scheme for junior doctors were “a bit out of left field”.

The government announced an immediate boost in GP training places by 300 to 1500 places in 2015, promising more growth in numbers as it continues efforts to cut training costs and red tape.

GPET will be abolished along with Health Workforce Australia and the Australian National Preventive Health Agency, with their functions to be absorbed by the health department. 

The government has said GPET regional training provider contracts will be terminated and put out to tender again with the aim of reducing their number.

But it has not indicated what will replace them, Dr Marles said.

“Funding for the 17 GPET regional training providers will be wound up by the end of 2015 – that’s fairly soon.