GP leaders’ wish list - what will the budget allocate for health care?
“We assume it’s going to be a very low extra spending budget with a lot of additional caps. Whilst we look at all the individual areas that are important, for every Australian to have access to a general practice is becoming increasingly important.
“Increasingly as we’re looking at preventive health, chronic disease management, all those issues, it’s very important to have a ‘medical home’. As we think more about health issues across the population, having [general practice] in the mix is really quite important. That’s probably the underpinning of a lot of what we’re asking for.”
Professor Claire Jackson, President, RACGP
“We see Medicare Locals as the way for a federally focused primary health care agenda, whether it be aged or mental health or other. Having gotten this reform in building what we see as a high capacity infrastructure, these roles are very much the roles they’re [MLs] designed for.
“In aged care, we’d like to see money for the resources; the faces at ground level to actually do the service delivery roles. There is a place for Medicare Local organisations to see how and where they can target and assist better coordination for the people, not just in aged care facilities but in the community as well.”
Dr Emil Djakic, Chair, AGPN
“Don’t mess with health. Health’s too important to be looking for savings. We’re all expecting that the government’s going to give us a haircut but this is not the time to be slashing dollars from health.
“It’s already been foreshadowed that they’re going to look at the [MBS] safety net, but the original reason for the safety net was catastrophe insurance for families. The threshold now almost defeats that original purpose.
“With aged care, there’s 40,000 more packages for home visiting, but what about the GP?”
Dr Steve Hambleton, President, AMA
“We still think the rural general pathway is a really important part of building up the Australian trained graduates and the rural health workforce for the future so if that can be supported by the federal government and subsequently by the state governments with their training positions, then some of the workforce issues will be addressed.
“IMGs have provided wonderful service, but for the long term they have many challenges working in the places that they work. Ideally we’d like to build a system with Australian trained graduates providing as many of those services that we can.”
Dr Peter Rischbieth, Vice-president, RDAA