Emeritus Professor Paul Worley was appointed as Australia’s first National Rural Health Commissioner in November last year.
Dr Judkins says the meeting was a good opportunity to discuss ACEM’s role in providing a trained workforce to provide emergency care to rural, regional and remote communities.
“It was a very positive meeting. We are committed to ensuring the best care for patients wherever and whenever they need it, and the Rural Health Commissioner is aware of that commitment,” Dr Judkins says.
The meeting followed the release last year of Australia’s Future Health Workforce – Emergency Medicine, the fourth report by the National Medical Training Advisory Network (NMTAN) in a series of modelling of the medical workforce by specialty to determine Australia’s future medical workforce needs.
ACEM provided information to NMTAN to assist in the modelling process for emergency specialists.
The report found, among other things, a projected oversupply of emergency medicine specialists by 2030 and, despite this projection, there will remain areas, particularly in rural and regional areas, where the recruitment and retention of emergency specialists is a challenge.
As well as offering the FACEM Training Program, ACEM also offers training programs leading to the awarding of a Certificate in Emergency Medicine (EMC) and a Diploma in Emergency Medicine (EMD). These qualifications play an increasingly important role in meeting the workforce needs in rural, regional and remote areas.
ACEM also offers the Australian Government-funded Emergency Medicine Education and Training (EMET) Program that aims to boost the quality of and access to emergency care in areas of need, particularly in rural Australia and the Specialist Training Program (STP) that aims to expand specialist training opportunities in rural areas.
Trainee Selection and Workforce Planning Reference Group
ACEM has also established a new entity, the Trainee Selection and Workforce Planning Reference Group. This Reference Group is an advisory body to the ACEM Board tasked with development of strategic policy direction in the areas of the evolving emergency medicine workforce needs and jurisdictional priorities, as well as the selection of trainees for the FACEM Training Program.
The Reference Group will undertake to develop a project plan incorporating various activities relevant to trainee selection processes and workforce planning.
All Faculties will be kept up to date, via regular reports from the Reference Group. In addition, local Faculty involvement will be coordinated for jurisdictional meetings and other activities.