FRNZCGP and Vocational Registration

FRNZCGP = Fellow of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners


The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) is the national body in New Zealand concerned with standards of General Practice and education for General Practitioners.  After an extensive training and assessment process, GPs must continue a three year cycle of re-accreditation in order to maintain Fellowship, ensuring continuing medical education and sufficiently high standards of Quality Assurance for the Vocational Registration necessary to practise medicine independently.

It is no longer possible for a doctor to set up in General Practice without training specific to the field, just as in any other field of medicine.  It is also necessary to demonstrate that knowledge and skills (specific to General Practice) are being maintained in order to maintain Vocational Registration.  Doctors without Vocational Registration can only practise under supervision.

Does this mean that General Practice has become a specialty ?  In a word, YES.  A GP has to have a working knowledge of every aspect of medicine which can be harder (and is certainly more interesting) than knowing a lot about one small area. In many countries this also means remuneration for Primary Care Physicians matches other specialties!

Does this mean fees will go up?  High quality medicine (including Primary Care) is not cheap. Complex consultations are likely to be more expensive unless government subsidies match the increasing cost of providing them or we could have a third world "barefoot doctor" (aka Nurse Practitioner) treating symptoms cheaply but increasing downstream costs.

However, the government has decided not to subsidise the cost of consultations, even when it claims to have under sixes "free". Most other subsidies are dependent on joining a PHO where fees are capped, forcing lower standards. This practice will not compromise on providing high quality care and so we are unable to offer PHO subsidies.   So the short answer is YES if you want quality (although we hope to keep the cost of brief consultations stable).

We have in fact kept our fees lower than the "standard" $57 PHO fee (the basis for capitaion subsidies in PHO practices) at a significant cost to practice income. See Fees.

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