Family Doctor Week
BY DR RICHARD KIDD, CHAIR, AMA COUNCIL OF GENERAL PRACTICE
In just a few weeks the AMA will again celebrate the vital role played by GPs in caring for community. Family Doctor Week highlights to the community, policy makers and politicians the importance of GPs in our health system and how patients benefit from the care we deliver.
This is an important time for general practice. The MBS Review Taskforce is expected to finalise its recommendations later this year, with the recommendations of its General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee likely to be of great interest to GPs. These recommendations may have significant implications for general practice.
The Minister for Health, at the AMA National Conference, having noted that Health Care Homes were not the end-point, talked about working in partnership with the medical profession to create a ‘quality payment framework’ that general practices could choose to be a part of.
While GPs are happy to engage in discussions about potential funding reforms, these tend to put change off over the horizon. What general practice desperately needs is an injection of meaningful funding in the here and now while discussions about bigger reform takes place. Improved rebates for residential aged care facilities care, a more realistic definition of after hours for in rooms consultations, red tape busting reforms to CDM items, CVC style payments for patients at risk of unplanned hospitalisations are AMA proposals that could be readily picked up and they would make a real difference for general practice.
The AMA is focussed on achieving significant, targeted investment in general practice, which will reward patient-centred care.
General practices are transforming to meet the challenges of the ageing population and the increasing incidence of chronic disease and multimorbity, and future funding arrangements will need to recognise this. The transformation of the Practice Nurse Incentive Program into the Workforce Incentive Program, supporting practices to employ non-dispensing pharmacists and other allied health professionals, is an example of successful AMA advocacy. In the long term, this will support practices to build their multidisciplinary health care team in order to provide patient-centred and comprehensive care.
The highlight of Family Doctor Week will be the AMA President’s National Press Club, on Wednesday 25 July, where he will be talking about health reform and improving the patient journey. The speech will be broadcast live on ABC TV or for those who wish to attend in person tickets can be booked at https://www.npc.org.au/speakers/dr-tony-bartone/.
Download this year’s Family Doctor Week at:
and let your patients know you are there for them, as the AMA is there for you.
Published: 27 Jun 2018