RACGP welcomes Opposition’s commitment to invest almost $1 billion dollars in general practice care

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has welcomed the federal Opposition’s plan to invest $970 million in general practice care in communities across Australia.

This morning, Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese and Shadow Minister for Health Mark Butler announced that a Labor Government would dedicate $250 million per year ($750 million total) to a “Strengthening Medicare Fund”, which includes additional support for general practice chronic disease management, complex care, team-based care, and after-hours care. To implement the Strengthening Medicare Fund, which includes a voluntary patient enrolment model, a taskforce will be formed and chaired by Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler with reporting to be finalised by July 2023.

$220 million has also been allocated to practice infrastructure grants (Tier 1 grants of $50,000 and Tier 2 grants of $25,000). The grants can be used for improvements such as upgrading IT systems to support telehealth consultations, upskilling staff, improving ventilation and infection control, and purchasing new equipment.

It comes following RACGP warnings that vital components of the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan, including improved coordination of care for patients with chronic and complex health needs, remain unfunded. Failure to meaningfully invest in this plan will result in gaps identified by the RACGP and other health groups not being addressed.

RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price welcomed the announcement.

“Today’s announcement is positive news. Until now, we had not seen a commitment by either major party to meaningfully invest in general practice patient care,” she said.

“Whilst we need to see

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