A General Practice registrar was working in an
accredited General Practice Training 2 (GPT2) position. He had signed a
contract of employment with the practice.
supervisor resigned from the practice, leaving the registrar without an
appropriate supervisor working in that practice. As a result, the
practice was no longer an accredited training practice. The Regional
Training Provider (RTP) was supportive and arranged to provide the
trainee with a placement in an alternate accredited training
The practice asserted that the registrar had to
honour his contract of employment. When the registrar told the
practice about the new position it took a harsh view. It told the trainee
that it considered the trainee was resigning from the position without
notice, and therefore said it would not provide the registrar with
benefits owed, such as annual leave.
On review of the
contract, it became clear that the trainee had signed a contract that
was unsuitable for a trainee as it did not mention training and
After negotiation, the practice agreed to
provide the registrar with the entitlements he was owed, and the
registrar continued his training in another approved position.
This case highlights:
- When GP registrars sign contracts
of employment, those contracts should specify that employment will
only continue while there is a RTP approved supervisor, and while the
practice has an ongoing approved training position. If these criteria
are not met, the trainee should be allowed to seek employment
- GP registrars working in a position that loses
its training accreditation will probably no longer attract Medicare
rebates for consultations. It’s an offence for doctors to see
patients without access to Medicare benefits, unless they have
informed the patients of this prior to a consultation.
is important for registrars to maintain good relations with their RTPs,
to ensure they may receive full support.
- The training practice would
have entered into an agreement with the RTP. It is expected that such
an agreement would allow the RTP to withdraw accreditation as a
training practice if it was no longer suitable - for example, when
the only appropriate supervisor leaves the practice.