GP support key to success of health care homes

24 Aug 2016

Welcoming this week’s announcement of the 10 Primary Health Network Regions to conduct the Government’s trial of the Health Care Homes initiative, AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said that GPs must be properly resourced and supported to make the trial – and the concept – a success.

Dr Gannon said the AMA shares the Government’s vision for the Health Care Home, potentially one of the biggest reforms to Medicare in decades, adding that the AMA has been actively engaged in its development.

Overseas experience has shown that the Health Care Home model has the potential to support better patient outcomes, and can help to keep patients out of hospital.

“Importantly, it recognises the fundamental role of a patient’s family doctor who can provide holistic and longitudinal care and, in leading the multidisciplinary care team, safeguard the appropriateness and continuity of care,” Dr Gannon said.

He added that GPs are managing more chronic disease, but in recent times their practices have faced substantial financial pressure due to the Medicare freeze and a range of other funding cuts.

“The reality is that GPs cannot afford to deliver enhanced care to patients with no extra support. There is no new funding for the Health Care Homes trial. Money has been shifted from other areas of the health budget. If the Health Care Homes funding model is not right, GPs will not engage with the trial, and the model will struggle to succeed,” Dr Gannon said.

“We urge the Government to provide new funding and resources for the trial, and lift the Medicare freeze and other burdens from GPs, in order to give this exciting primary care reform every chance of success,” Dr Gannon said.

Full media release