Victorian Politicians Urged to Improve Access to GP Services

Shutterstock 430087837 Sml   News Update

In order to increase access to GP services, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is pleading with Victorian lawmakers to prioritise healthcare during the state election. Based on a poll, voters’ top concern is the healthcare system. Thus, the following reforms were suggested by the RACGP:

  • In order to prevent patients from falling through the cracks, the next State Government will work with the Federal Government to build a long-term plan that will support access to GPs throughout the state and ensure that there are enough of them in every neighbourhood and postcode.

  • State support for grants and initiatives assisting general practitioners to go to outlying and rural areas.

  • Financing for a longer doctor's appointment for patients moving from the hospital to the community in order to improve health outcomes and lower readmissions.

  • Promote the mental health and wellness of general practitioners by removing required reporting regulations for healthcare professionals, which deter physicians from seeking assistance and contribute to burnout.

According to Victoria Chair Dr. Anita Munoz, in Victoria, the general practice offers the vast majority of medical services. Thus, it is time for the state government to take action to guarantee that GP patient services are accessible and sustainable for all residents of the Victorian state. 

By collaborating with the federal government to create a long-term strategy, the next State Government can significantly increase access to care for all Victorians and ensure that there are adequate general practitioners in every town.

Moreover, by sponsoring grants and initiatives that encourage doctors to learn, practice, and reside in rural and isolated towns, the state may also help address the GP shortage in rural Victoria.

Government Support for Patients Needed: Heart Attack, Number One Killer

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), it was reported that around 110 Australians are experiencing heart attacks daily. What is more alarming is that these patients are not getting the medications they need after being hospitalised.  

RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price states that this is a call for the government to provide support to patients through aftercare services. Adj. Prof. Karen Price also believes that this will significantly reduce spending the allotted budget for the healthcare system because of reduced hospital readmission. Nine out of ten Australians visit a general practitioner (GP) each year, making it the most used medical service in our entire health system. Less than 8% of all government health spending, however, goes toward paying for general practice patients.

If the government invests more in preventative care for Australians and community health initiatives supported by GPs, the country will have a healthier population and more productivity, and we can reduce costly hospital cases.

Joint College Training Services by RACGP and ACRRM

The ACRRM and the RACGP are happy to announce the formation of a legally binding joint venture organisation, Joint Colleges Training Services Pty Ltd, w (The Company) which will manage services for the joint AGPT training program. Initial activities that The Company will support include the following:

  • Formulation and implementation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health strategy plans, including cultural mentoring and education.

  • Homes for registrars in the isolated Northern Territory.

  • The ACRRM and the RACGP’s additional possible areas of cooperation.

The ACRRM and the RACGP will transfer all Commonwealth funding obtained for the creation of the strategic plans for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health to the Company in order to finance it.

Since The Company is owned 50-50 by the ACRRM and the RACGP, each has the option of nominating three board members for the company, and the colleges have agreed on an independent chair. The board will consist of seven members. Information on those directors will be released soon. To oversee the day-to-day operations of the Company, the Board shall choose a General Manager.

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