AMA updates its definition of general practice

The update reflects the AMA’s vision for holistic general practice outlined in the AMA’s 10-Year Framework for Primary Care Reform.

To align with the AMA’s 10-Year Framework for Primary Care Reform which recognises the need for general practice to evolve to remain relevant and the centre of primary care in the community, the AMA has revised its definition general practice.

The modified definition is included in the updated position statement on Primary Health Care which was endorsed at the last Federal Council meeting in August. The position statement serves as a vision for general practice and primary care.

The revision of general practice in the Primary Health Care position statement also reflects recent AMA feedback to the RACGP on the definition of general practice for the purpose of accreditation.

The modified AMA definition of general practice is as follows, “where less than 50% of practice’s general practitioners clinical time (ie collectively), where less than 50% of the services for which Medicare benefits are claimed (from that practice) are special interest clinics as opposed to general practices.”

The AMA envisages a balance between curative services and promotion, prevention and rehabilitation - a balance that is often misunderstood by supporters of a non-medical approach to Primary Health Care.

The AMA has also updated its position statements on Primary Health Networks and Fundholding. The 2015 Primary Health Networks position statement has no major changes and covers issues such as the role of PHNs; governance arrangements; provisions for accountability and performance; improving the coordination of care and funding mechanisms.

The 2015 Fundholding position statement also has no major changes and highlights the lack of evidence in support of extensive fundholding in general practice – and established clear limits on its use.

The position statement revisions are required under the AMA’s constitution every five years.

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