AMA submission to review of primary care after hours programs and policy

The AMA has made a submission to Allen and Clarke Consulting for the Department of Health and Aged Care’s review of primary care after hours programs and policy.

Current financial arrangements supporting after hours primary care services have variable effectiveness and reform is needed to improve patient access to GP appointments outside of normal hours.

After-hours MBS rebates are not sufficient enough to attract GPs to work unsociable hours without creating patient gap payments. In many cases, patients are forced to look for other options including a visit to an already stressed emergency department.

The AMA makes several recommendations, including expanding the after-hours time frame so higher MBS rebates can be applied outside of normal work hours.

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