The MTRP was established as a time-limited committee in June 1997 by the Minister for Health and Ageing under Section 3GC of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act). The terms of reference of the committee are to monitor the availability and take-up of medical training places by Hospital Medical Officers (HMOs) who come under the proficiency standards created by the Health Insurance Amendment Act (No.2) 1996. The MTRP was made a permanent body in 2001 to ensure that this important monitoring and reporting function continued into the future. In 2009 a review of the functions of the MTRP was undertaken. This reaffirmed the important role that the MTRP plays, both as a forum bringing together key stakeholders in medical education and training and also as an advisory group informing work in relation to medical education and training in this country.
Member organisations of the MTRP are appointed by Ministerial determination and include Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand Inc, the recognised specialist medical colleges, the Australian Medical Council, the Australian Medical Students’ Association, the Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils, the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Medical Association Council of Doctors-in-Training, the Australian General Practice Network, Rural Doctors’ Association of Australia, Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation, General Practice Education and Training Ltd, state and territory health departments and the Commonwealth. It is chaired by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. A full list of member organisations and members is provided at Appendix A.
To assist with carrying out its duties, the MTRP is empowered to establish subcommittees as needed. The Clinical Training Subcommittee and the Data Subcommittee have been established for a number of years and have been involved in various activities reported in this and previous MTRP reports. Summary information on these is provided below and more detailed information in Appendix A.
- The Clinical Training Subcommittee was formed to monitor and report on the activities and progress being made to ensure there are adequate clinical training positions for the increasing number of new medical graduates.
- The Data Subcommittee has provided advice in relation to the content of this and previous annual reports and the specifications of the data that these cover.
A third subcommittee, the Rural Subcommittee, was newly established by the MTRP in May 2010 to consider rural medical training issues.
In 2008–09 a review of the Medical Training Review Panel’s (MTRP) purpose, operations and functions was undertaken by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
This review arose out of a recognition that the environment in which the MTRP was operating significantly differed to that which existed when it was established in 1997. In particular, there had been an increasing demand for medical services, an expanding need for medical education and clinical training capacity, and a greater reliance on international medical graduates. As a result, the MTRP’s role had evolved and expanded over time to reflect this changing environment. The review did not extensively analyse the MTRP’s activities and achievements as these have been documented in the annual reports to parliament, but rather focused on the effectiveness of the MTRP in meeting its statutory requirements.
In April 2010 a report on the review was released. This acknowledged the role the MTRP played bringing together a cross section of stakeholders in medical education and training to collect and report on a wide range of medical education and training related data, consider and provide advice on specific medical education and training related issues, and identify priority areas and projects for consideration by the Commonwealth.
The key finding of the review was that the MTRP was both valued and strongly supported, and that there was a need for such a body to exist to perform these functions. It recommended that the current work should continue, while also expanding work on data collection
Following the review the membership of the MTRP was expanded to include two additional members – one from the private hospital sector and one from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce.