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