The College believes that the investment of $220 million in grants for GPs to train staff, buy equipment, improve ventilation and upgrade IT telehealth systems is a substantial commitment by the Australian Labor Party, which made the announcement a week out from Saturday’s federal election.
The new Strengthening Medicare Fund will also be set up and will seek to deliver more affordability for patients and better management for complex and chronic conditions, while easing pressures faced by the primary care sector.
Too often, a lack of access to available and affordable primary and community-based care, including specialist general practitioners, other medical specialists and allied health professionals, can lead to patients presenting to emergency departments.
The College is hopeful that this funding will give the public more access to GP appointments. As hospital emergency departments and staff across the country continue to struggle under incredible pressures, including significant workforce shortages, ACEM hopes this funding will offer alternative earlier intervention at GPs.
ACEM also welcomes a further commitment to invest in a Medicare taskforce, and advocates for consultation with, and involvment of, frontline emergency clinicians as part of ongoing government responses to the crises facing our healthcare system.
ACEM President Dr Clare Skinner said, “Regardless of who forms government we need to see the necessary reforms and improvements to healthcare systems. We stand ready to work collaboratively to achieve this. Through greater integration, improved linkages, and collaboration, we are hopeful the necessary reforms and improvements can be achieved.”
ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards. www.acem.org.au