Doctors training to become GPs were welcomed at a community networking event at the Yaama Ganu Café Gali on Thursday night.
Now in its second year, the event was hosted by local general practice training provider, GP Synergy, the New England Medicare Local, and Moree Plains Council to raise the profile amongst local community groups of the need to support doctors during their training to improve their retention in rural areas.
More than 50 attended the event which included GP registrars and other health professionals, as well as representatives from Moree Hospital, community groups and general practices.
According to Regional Business Manager, Mr Pat Worthing, there are currently 42 GP registrars training in the New England/Northwest region, with four in Moree. This includes at the Pius X Aboriginal Medical Service.
Mr Worthing said the community plays a significant role in helping retain these doctors in the region after they complete their training.
“The GP registrar cohort is very diverse, with registrars coming from a range of backgrounds and different levels of familiarity with the region.”
“As the GP training program requires registrars to undertake their training across the New England/Northwest region, even a registrar who grew up in the area may need help settling into a new town,” said Mr Worthing.
Based on data collected over the last seven years, Mr Worthing said the retention rate of registrars staying on in the region after training was 51%. This included doctors who had previous ties with the region prior to training, as well as those that did not.
“Making registrars and their families feel welcome and supported in rural communities will enhance the likelihood of them staying and settling in the region for the longer term,” he said.
Community networking events have been held across the region in Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell and Moree.
*High resolution images available on request
L to R: GP Synergy Regional Business Manager, Mr Pat Worthing, addresses the health professional community networking event attendees