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Until now, GPs gaining or holding  FRACGP were able to continue practising under General Registration with AHPRA and save themselves the additional cost of changing to Specialist Registration.  New legislation will come into effect from this Friday 16th April which means that they will now lose access to A1 rates if they do not change their registration.

Previously, a GP would just simply fill in a form and send this off to Services Australia with evidence of their fellowship and entry to the vocational register. Now, Services Australia  (AKA Medicare) is simply accessing AHPRA’s register of practitioners to check doctor’s eligibility for A1 rates.  They no longer rely on communication from the RACGP or ACCRM.

If a GP currently only holds general registration despite being a VR GP,  they will lose access to A1 rates if they do not change their AHPRA registration now.

Will there be a transition period?

Yes, you will have from this Friday 16 April until 15 June 2021 to gain specialist registration or re-enter the vocational register.

What should VR GPs who currently have general registration do now?

Services Australia should have contacted all GPs that may be affected, but we all know they are not always reliable. 

The GP will need to apply to AHPRA for specialist registration and may need to complete an Application for Vocational Registration for General Practitioner form

Following the changes, will GPs still need to complete the RACGP’s CPD requirements?

Whilst GPs will still need to complete the required amount of CPD, these do not necessarily need to be completed through the RACGP. GPs will only need to indicate their CPD activities to AHPRA every year at the time of their registration renewal

What does this mean for those completing exams and gaining fellowship?

This is an interesting situation that does not get mentioned in any of the official documents. Those completing registrar training and getting their fellowship often change jobs as soon as they get their paperwork from the college. Some are restricted by 19AA and need their Fellowship recognized before they can move, so now they will need to wait until their AHPRA registration is updated.