College campaigns for management revamp

3 minute read

The RACGP says having a new executive board as its top decision-making body will not see GPs lose any control


The RACGP is pushing out a campaign to convince sceptics that installing a new executive board as its top decision-making body will not see GPs lose control of the College.  

The controversial restructure hinges on the creation of a seven-member, skills-based executive board that will sit above the RACGP Council and serve as the “ultimate decision-making body”, according to the board’s proposed charter.  

The board, including three directors to be selected for their expertise in financial, legal and managerial matters, would oversee the RACGP’s activities as a not-for-profit corporation, the College says.  

The Council would continue to preside over clinical and professional matters.  

Council Chair Dr Tim Koh told The Medical Republic that the new board would have a “mandated GP majority” among the seven directors.  

It will include the college president, Council chair and vice-president and the chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.  Of the three skills-based directors, at least one will be a GP, according to the proposed charter on the RACGP website.   

Members will be asked to vote on the restructure at an extraordinary general meeting on 30 May.  

Theoretically, in the event of a policy clash between the board and the Council, the board would have the upper hand. 

But Dr Koh said such a conflict would be unlikely, because the president, the vice-president and the chair will sit on both the board and Council. 

Proponents of the move to add more managerial and financial expertise at the top level, and relieve the Council of business-related affairs, say the move was not sparked by any specific examples of dysfunction in the RACGP’s management. 

Rather, the College says the restructure is overdue in view of the its size – more than 35,000 members and nearly $60 million in annual turnover – and the proposed model reflects member feedback after a convocation item in 2013 calling for a governance review.  

Dr Koh said members wanted a more nimble and responsive organisation.  

“For us, this has been a three-year journey.  There have been innumerable meetings just trying to take in that feedback, and it’s really important that we listen to the whole membership.” 

Almost all of the specific information related to the proposed changes would made be available in the next few weeks, he said.  

“A lot of this information has gone back and forth with the faculties.  It’s such a big organisation to take feedback from, but we try to be as inclusive as possible.” 

“I think it will be a model of good governance and (make) sure we have a stable and secure organisation going forward,” the Western Australian GP said.

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