ACD to roll out projects to train more dermatologists in the bush


23 Mar 2022

The Australasian College of Dermatologists is to receive more than $1 million from federal government to encourage more dermatologists to undertake their training in regional, rural and remote areas.

The funding is part of a $4 million announcement for the Flexible Approach to Training in Expanded Settings (FATES) program that aims to use innovative approaches to better support trainee specialists in locations with shortages of specialists.

Federal Regional Health Minister Dr David Gillespie said he often heard dermatologists and psychiatrists are in short supply in country Australia, and three projects funded in today’s announcement would directly assist with getting more of these two specialities to the bush.

The FATES program was based on evidence that undertaking medical training in a regional or rural setting increases retention rates for regional doctors, he said.

“The Australasian College of Dermatologists will roll out two programs that will boost training opportunities for this speciality in Townsville, Darwin and Katherine,” Dr Gillespie said.

The FATES program will run for four years from 2021-22, providing a total of $29.5 million for new and innovative approaches to non-GP medical specialist training, and support for trainee specialists to transition to rural practice.

The Australasian College of Dermatologists will receive $455,731 to fund ‘an innovative and collaborative model of hybrid supervision for specialist dermatology training in Townsville’ and $612,128 to fund the NT Supervisory Rotational System to train dermatologists in Darwin and Katherine.

Dr Gillespie said the federal government was also pledging to provide more than $700 million over four years from 2022 to to support specialist medical training in regional areas.

It’s expected the specialist training program would mean 920 full-time places each year, with training across areas such as specialist rooms, day surgeries and private hospitals.

“This four-year extension of the specialist training program allows specialist trainees to continue to take up the opportunity to train in regional communities, which we know creates a higher likelihood they will remain or return after their training is complete,” he said.

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