Health Minister meets GP groups


Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, today met Australia’s peak general practice groups to discuss a range of issues that will have an impact on general practice, communities and patients in the Government’s second term.

The meeting was productive and builds on agreed policy areas from prior to the election and opens up scope for further negotiations and discussions around policies that will better serve local communities and improve patient outcomes.

There was strong shared support for accelerated implementation of e-health initiatives.

UGPA believes that there should be immediate action in adopting the GP patient summary as the basis for the proposed electronic patient health record, and that this would be a catalyst for more rapid uptake of e-health initiatives by the profession.

There was support also for electronic initiatives to improve access to pathology, diagnostic imaging, discharge summaries, and electronic prescriptions.

Progress in many of these areas would provide benefits to patients through efficient and accurate communication between general practice, other specialists, hospitals, and other health providers. 

High-speed internet access across Australia to support e-health programs is essential to deliver the full potential of telemedicine and enable greater access to health services, especially for people in rural and remote Australia and people with limited mobility.

The Minister said she was keen to utilise the clinical expertise of the members of UGPA in the development and implementation of key policies affecting general practice.  UGPA leaders thanked the Minister for taking the time to have serious talks about general practice issues the day after the new Government was sworn in.  The Minister has agreed to attend two UGPA meetings a year.

United General Practice Australia (UGPA) comprises the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN), General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA), the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).


15 September 2010


For further information:

 RACGP         Dr Chris Mitchell, 0427 878 383

AMA              Dr Andrew Pesce, 0428 300 361

AGPN            Dr Emil Djakic, 0428 256 563

GPRA            Dr Wicky Wong, 0406 214 076

ACRRM         Ms Marita Cowie, 0407 019 701

RDAA            Dr Nola Maxfield, 0418 335 344