The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) thanks Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley for his service after he announced his retirement from state politics.
Minister Foley announced today that he will not contest the seat of Albert Park at the November state election, and will also be stepping down as a Minister in the Andrews Labor Government.
RACGP Victoria Chair Dr Anita Munoz thanks Minister Foley for his service.
“I thank Minister Foley for his service during a critical time for our state,” she said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented significant challenges, and everyone involved in the response, including Minister Foley, has put in the hard yards and long hours of overtime to protect our community. I would particularly like to thank Minister Foley for the critical role he played in securing additional support for general practices as part of the COVID-19 and influenza response.
“Minister Foley proved to be very positive towards and supportive of general practice, including providing additional funding for state GP-led respiratory clinics, GP urgent care clinics, and grants supporting GPs to deliver influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations. He consistently acknowledged the vital role general practice plays in Victoria’s health system. He was also willing to think innovatively and hear ideas about how to do things differently.
“Our state’s health system is under enormous pressure, and any future Health Minister needs to be aware of this when stepping into the role.
“The health system is still reeling from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes managing COVID-19 positive patients, more and more patients with long COVID, and dealing with catch-up care due to patients delaying or avoiding care during lockdowns – which we know leads to worsening health conditions and delayed diagnoses.
“And before the pandemic hit, the health system was already under pressure due to rising rates of chronic disease, mental health issues and an aging population.
“This is why the RACGP has been calling for urgent reforms to properly fund primary care. We need to get serious about health funding reform and stop tinkering around the edges – to ensure everyone can see a GP and access the care they need when they need it.
“Everyone deserves access to high-quality and affordable general practice care, no matter their postcode.”