Rural psychiatry roadmap
The RANZCP has approved an Implementation Plan for the Rural Psychiatry Training Pathways Roadmap and has secured Commonwealth funding to enable progression of key deliverables described in it.
The Implementation Plan is a ten-year strategy which addresses 45 deliverables across five key areas of governance, education programs, selection and onboarding, clinical rotations and support.
The Roadmap will enable the establishment of dedicated and sustainable regional, rural and remote training pathways to Fellowship, which will help to address the current disparity in mental health outcomes for the large and diverse population of Australians and New Zealanders who live outside urban centres.
Inequitable access to psychiatric care has been highlighted as a significant shortcoming of the Australian mental health care system. The 2020 Productivity Commission Mental Health Inquiry Report highlighted that the number of psychiatrists per capita in Australia and New Zealand falls short of many developed countries, and that people living in regional, rural and remote areas are disproportionately affected by a lack of access to specialist mental health care. The Commission recommended that a national plan be developed to increase the number of generalist psychiatrists practising outside major cities. Restructuring and reforming training pathways and addressing the undersupply of trainees in rural areas are also identified as priorities in the Australian Government National Medical Workforce Strategy.
The Roadmap outlines the RANZCP’s proposal for change, emphasising how building the rural psychiatry workforce will require the development of a dedicated Rural Psychiatry Training Pathway (RPTP) to Fellowship. The Roadmap focuses on expanding opportunities for aspiring psychiatrists to live, train and practise rurally, as well as optimising the support available for those who take up these opportunities. The Roadmap defines the key elements of the rural training pathway and provides actionable recommendations to all stakeholders and partners which will lay strong foundations for better access to psychiatrists in rural Australia and New Zealand.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has received Australian Government funding under the Specialist Training Program to deliver this project. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists has received Australian Government funding under the Specialist Training Program to deliver this project.