GP agreement secures country hospital services over the next three years

1 December 2017

Country Health SA (CHSA) and GPs working in rural areas have reached a three-year agreement on the provision of medical services at country hospitals.

The details of the agreement were negotiated with the Rural Doctors Association (RDASA) and the Australian Medical Association South Australia (AMASA) of South Australia who represented all rural GPs.

CHSA Chief Executive Officer Maree Geraghty said the agreement, which takes effect from today, will improve the terms and conditions for the approximately 550 rural GPs and GP registrars contracted to provide medical services in country hospitals.

“The agreement recognises the substantial and increasing workload of these GPs, and contains a number of increased payments, as well as several non-monetary clauses in the areas of quality and safety, clinical engagement and workforce sustainability.

“Over the past eight months the discussions between CHSA, the RDASA and AMASA have been very positive and productive and we’re pleased to have an agreement now which benefits both rural GPs and their country patients.

“As part of agreement negotiations, CHSA listened to the priority issues for rural GPs, with the aim of supporting them to provide the highest quality health care for residents of country South Australia.

“We recognise that many country GPs are providing services in country hospitals on top of their busy private practice work.

“I thank all country GPs for the highly valued services they have provided for many years to their local communities.”

The new agreement includes a 10 per cent increase for on call emergency roster payments in the 45 small country hospitals.

It also includes a commitment to introduce payments for safety and quality meetings, which will allow contracted GPs to increase their involvement in the clinical governance of country hospitals.

A standard GP Agreement has been in place since 2010, with terms and conditions renegotiated every three years.

The agreement supports CHSA’s partnership with RDASA and AMA and GPs to develop sustainable rural workforce models.

Prior to the GP Agreement, Country Health SA held individual arrangements with GPs.

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