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AMA welcomes Labor’s commitment to general practice

In a federal election campaign short on bold health platforms from either major party, the AMA welcomed a nearly $1b commitment from the ALP to invest in the nation’s GPs, if elected. The AMA said the funding would put general practice on a pathway to a more sustainable future. 

The announcement of immediate infrastructure funding for GPs, and a new fund allowing for primary care reform including voluntary patient enrolment (VPE) implementation was warmly welcomed by AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid.

Throughout the election lead-up, the AMA has been running the Modernise Medicare campaign, outlining the direct benefit to patients of investing in general practice to introduce a medical home, and under it, a range of specific and targeted programs.

“The primary care fund announced by the ALP, if implemented, is a strong down payment that will help realise the recently completed 10 Year Primary Health Care Plan – a plan which has remained completely unfunded by the Government,” Dr Khorshid said.

The AMA’s reaction to the plan was a feature of national media coverage . The Guardian reported Dr Khorshid’s comment: “The ALP’s primary care fund pledge will allow investment in programs that will improve access to services for patients including GP after hours services and the Workforce Incentive Program. We welcome the ALP commitment to work with the AMA on the implementation of primary care reform”.

The ABC, the Age and Tasmania’s Mercury also reported the AMA’s position, which included a longstanding history of supporting general practice infrastructure grants, as outlined in our 2022 election statement. These grants are critical to improving access to care for patients, providing the opportunity for GPs to invest in infrastructure and space that supports more teaching and training in general practice and access to a broader range of services for patients, such as nursing and allied health services.

“Grant funding has been shown to deliver results with the Australian National Audit Office confirming that infrastructure grants are effective and a good value-for-money investment,” Dr Khorshid said.

Dr Khorshid also gave a weekend press conference discussing this and issues of ambulance ramping and COVID-19 cases, while Vice President, Dr Chris Moy spoke to ABC News Radio’s Chris Mitchell on the ALP commitment, medicine shortages and medicine security.  

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