Major parties finalise election policies for general practice

Both of the major parties have now released their policies for general practice, with the Coalition focused on supporting the rural GP workforce through a $146m package comprising workforce incentives, additional prevocational training places, advanced skills training opportunities, extension of the single employer trial for GP registrars and innovative models of collaborative care.

The Coalition also highlighted its past record including previous Budget announcements and the delivery of permanent telehealth.

The ALP has promised nearly $1b in funding support for general practice that comprises $220m for infrastructure grants and $750m to support potential reforms including Voluntary Patient Enrolment, improved access to GP after hours services and an expansion of the Workforce Incentive Program. The ALP has also committed to the establishment of 50 Urgent Care Clinics, the latter being a policy the AMA has opposed strongly Throughout the election, the AMA has been running a campaign, Modernise Medicare, outlining the direct benefit to patients of investing in general practice. We have championed voluntary patient enrolment and a range of specific and targeted programs to support our GP workforce.

Regardless of who forms government after this Saturday, they can expect the AMA to advocate strongly for the effective implementation of their commitments as well as further funding to ensure that general practice is more sustainable and fully equipped to meet the challenge of escalating demand for services.

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