AMA President rejects comments made by Nationals MP

1 Mar 2018

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, has appeared in the media recently to stress the important role GPs play in delivering primary health care in Australia. His comments come on the back of Nationals MP George Christensen saying that Australians have a right to use hospital emergency departments instead of paying to visit a GP.

Appearing on 6PR Perth Live Dr Gannon outlined the unique role both GPs and emergency department doctors play.

“The reality is that you're not talking the same thing when you compare what my colleagues who work in emergency departments do to what my colleagues who are general practitioners do.”

“GPs are specialists in primary care, so for a start they're a lot better trained for the kind of presentations he's talking about, and the reality is that if you go and see a GP, we're still at 85 per cent bulk billing around Australia.”

Dr Gannon said that Australia was lucky to have high level quality of primary care.

“We're very, very fortunate in Australia to have a highly trained, skilful, specialist GP workforce, and they represent better value for money than anything else I know in our community.”

“They're there, working hard Monday to Friday, often extended hours, often Saturday mornings, Sunday mornings. They are the specialists in preventative health. They are the specialists in primary care. That should be your first port of call for most health problems.”

Dr Gannon also discussed the importance of vaccination, especially for children.

“There is not a single credible voice anywhere on the planet that argues against national immunisation programs like we enjoy in Australia and in other developed nations.”

Read the full transcript here.