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18 Apr 2019

In a move to highlight the importance of GP-led primary health care as a priority health issue in the current Federal election, the AMA is today supplying its GP members with resources to help them lobby their local election candidates at the grassroots level.

The AMA has put primary health care at the top of its election policy wish list, and is calling on the major parties to roll out further significant funding promises for general practice and Australia’s hardworking GPs.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today that general practice touches all parts of the health system.

“General practice is the glue that holds everything together. It is the lifeblood that keeps people moving and healthy on their journey through the system.

“GPs help people navigate their way to the right care for them at the right time. GPs are with their patients throughout life. They must be supported in this vital role.”

Dr Bartone said there are GPs in every electorate across the country and they are very effective at conveying health policy messages to their politicians and their communities.

“We are supplying them with tools to enable them to be even more effective in their advocacy,” Dr Bartone said.

“We have prepared talking points, handouts, materials for local candidates, and letters to the editor to help explain the policies needed to support general practice, keep GPs working in local communities, and attract new GPs to areas that need them.”

The AMA election policy priorities include:

  • funding to support longer consultations with patients;
  • improving access to after-hours GP services;
  • funding MBS rebates for GP telehealth consultations;
  • providing better wound care;
  • enhancing access to GP-led team-based care via the Workforce Incentive Program;
  • improving conditions for GP registrars; and
  • funding for a dedicated GP mental health program.

Dr Bartone said the AMA welcomed the Coalition’s Budget announcement of almost one billion dollars of investment in general practice as an important first step.

“There is much more to be done, and we will be urging all the major parties to release comprehensive general practice and primary care policies in the coming weeks.”

18 April 2019

CONTACT:        John Flannery           02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761


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Published: 18 Apr 2019