GPs play a central role in health system: AMA President

1 Dec 2016

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, has written an opinion piece for Health Voices, the journal of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia, on the important and central role of the GP in providing coordinated, patient-centred health care.

“GPs are highly trained specialists. They are uniquely positioned to diagnose and treat illness, and coordinate care working in collaboration with their patients, other specialists, and allied health care professionals,” Dr Gannon wrote.

“We must never forget that care is about the patient. Other health professionals want to carve out new roles, often based on the premise that they will be looking after relatively simple presentations, and that this will free up time for doctors to do more complex work.

“To be perfectly clear, there is rarely such a thing as a ‘simple’ presentation. GPs know their patients’ histories. So-called ‘simple’ symptoms can be a sign of a far more complex and potentially dangerous condition. GPs are trained to look for enigmas like depression and alcoholism.

“Over 30 years, Governments from both sides of politics have undermined and undervalued General Practice. It is time that they realised their value and supported them in their essential primary health care role.”

The full article can be read here.