College hits back over education changes

3 minute read

The RACGP has hit back at an opinion piece by TMR that questioned whether it could attract the attention of the ACCC


The RACGP has hit back at an opinion piece by The Medical Republic that questioned whether its new medical education regime could attract the attention of the ACCC. 

The article, by TMR publisher and business writer Jeremy Knibbs, said education providers were asking how much thought had been given to commercial third parties that would be adversely affected by the proposed changes to start in January.

“A key problem for the RACGP now is going to be whether their changes are going to survive the ACCC’s ‘misuse of market power test’,” Knibbs wrote in Friday’s piece.

The changes for the next triennium, which upset providers at an orientation meeting last Thursday, include a $2 impost on providers for uploading CPD points to the RACGP website and a requirement for GPs to do half their Category One CPD through the college.

The RACGP without doubt has market power. Substantial market power,” Knibbs wrote.   

“If it didn’t, then most of the room of education providers getting a briefing yesterday from the RACGP on the changes wouldn’t be up in arms like waterside workers at a 1970s union meeting.” 

In its response, emailed to members today, the RACGP said the article was a mixture of fact, fiction and rumour. (Click here for the full response.)

“The question of market power is misguided. The RACGP sets professional standards and requirements as required by the Australian Medical Council – not the market,” the college said. 

“CPD training providers are organisations whose business model relies on attracting GPs to attend education events. Providers may apply for accreditation by the RACGP to market their programs and services to GPs.” 

The more than 450 RACGP-accredited CPD training providers were advised “some weeks ago” of the changes through a series of communication activities, and these were continuing, it said.  

The college explained that its CPD quality-control activities were labour intensive and an expensive process.  

“CPD training providers therefore pay a fee to maintain this and related quality assurance and marketing processes. In order to provide improved equity in this process, payment systems have altered for the 2017–2019 triennium factored on a user pay basis.” 

It said there was no evidence to support claims that changes to provider payment structures would shape or limit general practice education programs.  

“GPs maintain the capacity to choose where they do their CPD education,” the college said.  

The compulsory new college-run quality-improvement activity known as PLAN – Planning, Learning and Need – maintained the RACGP’s commitment to improve and strengthen the QI&CPD program, it said. 

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