We don’t intend to tell anyone what to do but want to encourage, foster and support dialogue between the leadership of our organisations to seek common ground and present a powerful joint face on any issues possible – to members, government and the public.
My message is that it has to start somewhere and it will be small steps, but almost anything is possible. There has been a strong feeling of the two GP Colleges needing to work more closely together.
This could in my opinion occur for 4 reasons:
1. Patient outcomes
Sharing of information and agreed principles of patient care, sharing research and knowledge, and supporting all GPs to work well in their communities with a united front as well as joint public statements on major health issues. The GPDU18 conference sent a strong signal that when we talk about patient outcomes the notion of separate Colleges almost dissolves.
2. General Practice policy
Not trying to one-up each other but seeking shared meaning. Wouldn’t it be great for practices to adhere to common agreed standards (which would have to allow for geographic and other considerations).
3. ‘Togetherness’ on the future of Rural Generalism
Paul Worley needs support to get this right; a unified approach from both Colleges can help him better.
4. Member support
Many members feel it would be beneficial for the Colleges to work together with those who are members of both organisations. Some suggestions include a significant discount from each College where the member can prove financial membership of the other College; or perhaps RACGP to offer ‘RACGP Rural’ Faculty membership of some sort (without full RACGP membership or benefits) to ACRRM members.
Informal meetings and discussion can help to find common ground.