There are about 34 rural hospitals in New Zealand, about half the medical staff are employed full-time in the hospitals and about half also work in rural general practice.
In 2008 the Medical Council of New Zealand recognised rural hospital medicine as a distinct scope of practice. At the same time the Division of Rural Hospital Medicine (DRHM) was set up within the RNZCGP. There is now a professional body for both full-time rural hospital generalists and rural GPs with hospital commitments. There are already more than 116 Fellows of DRHM and 65 registrars enrolled in the four-year training programme.
For more information contact the DRHM advisor Alita Bigwood or by telephone 04 550 2829.
Rural Hospital Generalists are encouraged to join the Rural GP Network and attend their annual conference. The Network represents the views of full-time rural hospital generalists as well as rural GPs. The conference includes the DRHM annual training day, relevant CME sessions and the DRHM AGM. Next year's conference will be held in Wellington from March 30 to April 2. For more information visit www.rgpn.org.nz