15 June 2012

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) is pleased that the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is considering acting as the employer of GPEP1 registrars.

The college has said it will submit a tender to Health Workforce New Zealand in response to its request for expressions of interest to secure an employer for the registrars.

“GP registrars are set to begin their training in December so it is absolutely essential that the issue of which organisation will employ them is resolved as quickly as possible,” says NZMA Deputy Chair Dr Mark Peterson.

“We are supportive of the revised GP training programme as it seeks to enhance the GP role and make it more flexible to better meet the needs of patients and the evolving primary care sector. 
While there is some concern about the college balancing their role as trainer and employer, we believe this can be appropriately managed.”

The NZMA however is concerned that GP registrars have a voice in the process.

“Our DITC offers a conduit for registrar representation, though we also endorse the establishment of a dedicated GP registrar representative group.  It doesn’t make sense to exclude GP registrars from having input when this programme directly affects their training and career.”

The College has been working in partnership with Health Workforce New Zealand and the Medical Council since 2010 to review how general practitioners are trained and have updated the training programme to enable GPs to provide more complex care.