The AMA welcomes the decision by the Medical Board of Australia to include vocationally registered GPs on the Specialist Register of the new national registration scheme that takes effect from 1 July 2010.
AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said the AMA last week wrote to the Board recommending that vocationally registered GPs be given Specialist General Practitioner status.
"The Board has made the right decision," Dr Pesce said.
"It would have been inequitable not to recognise the skills and experience of vocationally registered GPs, and it could have created two classes of GP.
"Vocationally registered GPs will join Fellows of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and some Fellows of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) as Specialist General Practitioners."
"The Board has recognised the high quality patient care that is being provided by over 11,000 hard working vocationally registered GPs across the country who, for historical reasons, do not hold the Fellowship qualifications.
"Vocationally registered GPs have 18 years or more experience in general practice and have clearly demonstrated the skills to be considered medical specialists.
"They have been required to comply with a quality framework and have demonstrated their commitment to general practice and the community.
"The AMA sees this recognition as a transitional arrangement under the new scheme.
"We recognise the importance of the RACGP and ACRRM Fellowships, and believe these should be the benchmark for recognition of Specialist General Practitioners in the future," Dr Pesce said.