GP Super Clinics 'not so super'
The AMA welcomes this week’s reports that the Government is taking action to discontinue any further expansion of the previous Government’s failed GP Super Clinics program. AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said the AMA has been a vocal critic of the Super Clinics since they were first proposed.
“The GP Super Clinics have absorbed huge amounts of valuable health funding that would have been better spent in other ways in the health system,” Dr Hambleton said.
He added that Super Clinics were supposed to provide primary care services in areas where patients had poor access to GPs, but some have been built in places where they compete with successful long-established general practices.
The AMA recommends that any unspent or recovered GP Super Clinic funding should be directed to help upgrade existing general practices in the form of Primary Care Infrastructure Grants. The Auditor-General last year found the Infrastructure Grants to be delivering excellent results. Under this program, $117 million has been allocated over four years to upgrade 425 GP facilities. By contrast, the Auditor-General found that two GP Super Clinics alone had cost taxpayers $50 million, and several more had needed substantial top-up funding.