Primary Care Review must result in improved funding for general practice
In welcoming the Primary Health Care Advisory Group’s Discussion Paper, Better Outcomes for People with Chronic and Complex Health Conditions through Primary Health Care, the AMA warned that important reforms cannot succeed without significant new investment in general practice and genuine Government support for Australia’s hardworking GPs.
AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said this week that the discussion paper outlines a range of areas for potential reform, some of which the AMA has long supported, including GP-led team-based care, the improved use of technology, care coordinators, and a greater role for private health insurers. He added that the discussion paper also challenges the profession to consider new payment models, and this is something that will require ongoing discussion.
“What is missing from the discussion paper is an explicit statement that we need to better fund and resource general practice if we are to meet the health challenges of the future. The final outcome from this Review must be more than simply re-allocating existing funding. The reality that the Review must take into account is that general practice has been under attack, and a more positive Government attitude to general practice, and primary care and prevention more broadly, is urgently needed.
The AMA will be meeting directly with the Advisory Group during the consultation period and will be making a formal submission to the Review.