Australia’s peak General Practice organisation, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has ‘in principle’ welcomed the Australian Labor Party’s announcement for a long term review of Australia’s healthcare needs, if delivered without a heightened level of bureaucracy.
Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee – Funding and Health System Reform, Dr Michael Wright congratulated shadow health minister, the Hon Catherine King on today’s announcement, but noted that in order to be ready for the future needs of Australians, we must focus on delivering more than just words when it comes to primary healthcare.
“We must move away from thinking that the biggest bang-for-buck investment is hospitals, and instead look towards how we can keep Australians healthier for longer,” Dr Wright said.
“We know that strong access to general practice delivers quality healthcare for everyone, regardless of demographic or background.
“Our patients need to see real and genuine investment in GP services, shifting the focus away from hospital care, when care can be safely provided in the community.
The RACGP has flagged caution to the forming of another review body that potentially may not deliver quality sustainable outcomes for Australia’s long term health needs.
“We have seen a number of reviews highlighting the importance of strengthening the role of general practice in the health system, but funding has not followed these findings. We hope this announcement represents the start of a true commitment to making this reform happen for our patients.
“As a profession, general practice has been burnt from increased government administration with previous reviews and commissions failing to deliver significant improvements and long term results.
“This move towards universal healthcare through long-term health system reform is a step in the right direction for the health of all Australians.
“I look forward to discussing the potential opportunities for an Australian Health Reform Commission with Catherine King in future discussions.”