TWENTY-SIX doctors will head to the northern region next year to train to become GPs, a record number recruited under a training program in the region.
GP Synergy, the general practice training provider in the region, says the intake is two-and-a-half times the number of doctors recruited in 2009 .
Doctors undertaking the GP training program are medically qualified doctors who want further training to develop the skills and expertise to practise as a GP.
GP Synergy chief executive officer John Oldfield said the doctors worked in the hospital system and were usually two to three years out of postgraduate training.
Most come from the local region and Sydney, with some from interstate.
Under the program, the doctors work in community-based practices and hospitals, on rotation through remote areas and larger towns, before sitting an exam.
Once they pass, they are fully qualified to practise anywhere they want.
The doctors are a welcome boost to the region’s understaffed workforce.
“It’s contributing immediately to services provision and the health workforce in the region,” Mr Oldfield said.
He said many also stay on to work in the region after completing training, boosting the workforce permanently.