The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is welcoming new incentives for GPs to vaccinate aged care and disability workers.
In addition to flag-fallarrangements and the Medicare items for delivering COVID-19 vaccines, GPs will now receive a $1,000 incentive once they vaccinate 50 workers and then $20 per worker thereafter.
RACGP President Dr Karen Price described the new incentive payments as a positive step forward.
“GPs are the backbone of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and they are doing a tremendous job,” she said.
“However, the rollout has presented many challenges for general practice, so these additional payments are just what the doctor ordered.
“The incentive is cumulative so the vaccinations can be delivered in one facility or multiple facilities. In even better news, the incentive payments can be back-dated all the way to mid-April and they run until the end of October this year.
“Many people may not realise the vital role GPs play in caring for older people in aged care facilities. So, it is a logical step for GPs to be incentivised to vaccinate those who care for people in these facilities.”
Dr Price said that urgently vaccinating aged care and disability workers could save lives.
“Aged care and disability workers care for some of the most vulnerable members of our society,” she said.
“Vaccinating our older patients and people with a disability is essential. However, that is not a complete solution because if workers are not vaccinated, they could inadvertently spread the virus to the people they look after, and the consequences can prove disastrous.
“For any aged care or disability worker my message is straightforward – it is vital that you are vaccinated as soon as possible. Even if you are a young and healthy person, this virus still poses a threat to you and the people you care for.
“The new Delta variant is far more transmissible than previous variants, there is emerging evidence it as infectious as chickenpox.
“We have several cities in lockdown and the prospect of more outbreaks to come. So there has never been a more important time to roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated – it could save lives.”