RACGP welcomes Victoria announcing new Chief GP role

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has welcomed news that Victoria is creating a new role of Chief GP Adviser to embed more general practice knowledge in the Department of Health.

In an article published today, The Herald Sun quoted a state government spokesman as saying a specialised Chief GP Adviser position is being created to strengthen the relationship between primary care and hospitals, and embed general practice knowledge in the Department of Health.

RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price welcomed the announcement.

“I am very pleased that the Victorian Government has heeded the RACGP’s calls to create the position of a Chief GP of the Health Department,” she said.

“General practice is the most frequented health service in our entire health system – almost nine in 10 Australians visit a GP every year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the essential role of general practice in our communities. GPs have been responsible for rolling out the national vaccine program, caring for COVID-19 cases in the community, and managing catch up care for those who delayed consultations and screening during lockdowns.

“And general practice does so much more than what has been in the news throughout the pandemic. GPs play a key role in providing preventative care, keeping people healthy in the community and out of hospital.

“So, it makes sense that there should be a Chief GP role within the Health Department to make sure that general practice is considered and included in the planning and decision making on all healthcare matters.”

RACGP Victoria Chair Dr Anita Munoz also welcomed the news.

“This announcement has been some time in the making. My predecessor, former RACGP Victoria Chair Dr Cameron Loy, initially made the case for this role to the Department of Health some years ago,” she said.

“And I’m pleased that our government has made it happen, because it is needed now more than ever.

“Practices in Victoria, and around the nation, have been under immense pressure. And not just due to the impacts of the pandemic, but because funding for general practice patients has eroded over decades, while at the same time the demand for GP care has increased exponentially.

“Our population is ageing, and we are seeing increasing rates of chronic disease and mental health concerns, and people with multiple conditions needing complex care.

“The community need for GP care is at a scale never seen before – and there is no substitute for GPs, that path poses a significant risk to quality care provision and will result in poor health outcomes for patients.

“As Chair of the RACGP’s Victorian Faculty, I look forward to working closely with the new Chief GP, and representing the interests and concerns of our members, and the communities they care for across the state.”

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