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A new injection of GPs for regional, rural and remote Queensland

18th January 2021

James Cook University has welcomed more than 150 new budding General Practitioners to training posts from as far south as the Sunshine Coast to Australia’s most northern tip in the Torres Strait, and west to the Northern Territory border.

Most of the new GP registrars attended introductory workshops in locations around the state, including Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Hervey Bay, Maroochydore, and Rockhampton before embarking on their GP training through JCU at posts around the state.

Remote registrars and those who couldn’t attend face to face due to travel restrictions were able to complete their introductory workshops online.

Thirty-two registrars attended the introductory workshop at the University’s Cairns City Campus.  Among the newest recruits are doctors who’ll take up rural, remote, and very remote training places across the far north and west of the state.

Nine new registrars attended workshops in Mackay, six attended in Rockhampton, 15 in Hervey Bay and 14 attended their introductory workshop on the Sunshine Coast.

In Townsville, 27 GP trainees attended the introductory workshops at JCU’s Douglas campus.  In total, 37 new registrars will join the program across the Townsville region.  Twenty-two will begin their training at GP clinics in a range of locations, including Townsville, Ingham, Ayr, and Charters Towers.  Seventeen will begin their training within the hospital and health system.

James Cook University has been running General Practice training across north and western Queensland for more than four years.  It's the only Australian university contracted by the Federal Government to roll out the Australian General Practice Training program (AGPT).

JCU Director of GP training, Associate Professor Lawrie McArthur said the recruits will bring the total number of GPs training through JCU this year to 544.

“Over the past four years the JCU GP training program has produced 583 qualified GPs across the training region, which takes in around 90 percent of the state,” Associate Professor McArthur said.

“Our doctors practice across Queensland in regional, rural and remote communities to improve health outcomes where it’s needed most”.

"We dedicate time and resources to matching applicants to the training posts that will benefit their careers as well as the community. The training posts provide the opportunity to develop an extended scope of practice unique to rural and remote locations."

“JCU has a strong record of producing a skilled workforce for northern Australia.  This new cohort of GPs will add to that legacy," Associate Professor McArthur said.

At the workshops, registrars cover the requirements of the AGPT program. They also had the chance to meet their mentors, colleagues and JCU support staff.

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Townsville QLD 4811