PGPPP scrapping criticised

The loss of the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) launched in 2008 will deprive young doctors of a possibly career-changing opportunity, NSW GP Emma Cunningham said.

“Ultimately, this decision lacks foresight,“ said Dr Cunningham, who did her placement with Dr Paul Mara in Gundagai and now practises in the south coast towns of Cooma and Bombala.

“This is the only experience junior doctors can get outside a hospital, and it’s extremely valuable because it is ‘warts and all’. The experience made me sure that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

Dr Ian Kamerman, president of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, said the government should rethink the decision.

He said the program had “worked wonders” in attracting doctors to work in general practice – especially in rural medicine – and cutting it was a false economy.