The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, RACGP has called on the major parties to announce their election commitments to general practice, following the recent announcement made by the Australian Labor party to invest $200 million to the pathology sector if elected.
President of the RACGP, Dr Harry Nespolon has welcomed the $3.5 billion announcement into primary healthcare from the Australian Greens late last week and has called for other political parties to commit to making a real investment into general practice.
“Nearly 90% of Australians see their GP every year, this is comparison to 68% of Australians filling a prescription, 55% having a pathology test, or 14% being admitted to hospital. When it comes to funding this election, general practice must come first,” Dr Nespolon said.
Despite this, the most recent primary care announcement as $200 million, for pathology – an area dominated by large corporate organisations.
“While any funding in the health space is welcomed, we need to see a real investment made into grassroots patient care this election.
“General practice is Australia’s most accessed form of healthcare. Despite this, funding for general practice represents only 7.4% of total government health expenditure including federal, state and local government expenditure.
“Over the full period of the Medicare rebate freeze, $1 billion has been ripped out of general practice. We need to see that funding reinstated if we want to see universal access to primary care remain.
“We look forward to seeing the Labor and Liberal party announcements in the area of general practice in the final weeks of the federal election.”
The RACGP Election campaign can be seen here.