Family doctors must be supported to serve their communities

20 Jul 2014

Your Family Doctor – Keeping You Healthy



This week is AMA Family Doctor Week 2014 – a time to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the more than 30,000 GPs across Australia who provide high quality primary health care and advice to their patients in local communities in cities, suburbs, rural centres, country towns, and remote areas across the country.

The Family Doctor Week theme this year is Your Family Doctor – Keeping You Healthy, which encapsulates the key role that family doctors play in all our lives, throughout all stages of life.

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said today that family doctors work closely with their patients to identify and treat health problems early, better manage existing conditions, minimise the risks of disease, and provide advice and guidance to live a healthier life.

“Nearly 90 per cent of Australians have a regular GP, and enjoy better health because of that ongoing and trusted relationship.” A/Prof Owler said 

"The personalised care and preventive health advice provided by GPs about exercise, diet, and leading a healthy lifestyle keep people out of hospitals and keep health costs down.

“General practice is the cornerstone of primary health care and the most cost-effective part of the health system.

"Family doctors are leaders in preventive health care, early diagnosis and treatment, coordinated care, and chronic disease management.

“But they need to be supported in their important work.

“The AMA is currently working with the Government on concerns we have with changes to primary care that were part of the May Budget, particularly relating to proposed co-payments for general practice, radiology, and pathology services,” A/Prof Owler said.

A/Prof Owler said that AMA Family Doctor Week puts the focus on general practice and reminds people about the importance of family doctors in local communities.

“Family Doctor Week allows the AMA to highlight all that is good about general practice and family doctors, and it also allows us to discuss issues or policies that need to be resolved to allow general practice to provide even better services to Australian communities,” A/Prof Owler said.

“Above all, Family Doctor Week is a chance for the medical profession to remind people about the importance of looking after their health.

“If you have a family doctor, make sure you have regular check-ups.

“If you do not have a family doctor, we urge you find one locally and establish an important relationship that will be crucial to good health throughout life,” A/Prof Owler said.

Throughout Family Doctor Week 2014, the AMA will be issuing media releases and videos to inform people about important preventive health measures they can and should undertake with their family doctor.

The AMA will also be raising health policy concerns that could negatively affect general practice and make it harder for family doctors to continue providing high quality, affordable and easily accessible comprehensive health care.

AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, will address the National Press Club on Wednesday 23 July.

The AMA has produced videos to promote Family Doctor Week 2014:

This video (mute) has been produced so that general practices can play it in their waiting rooms for the information of their patients:

All the videos can be downloaded from the AMA Family Doctor Week website at

AMA Family Doctor Week is sponsored by Australian General Practice Training.


20 July 2013


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                            Sanja Novakovic                 02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753


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