Reinforcement of the working group on health insurance | Mirage News
As Health Minister Butler noted at the AMA National Conference, “The most terrifying statistic in health…is that less than 15% of medical graduates choose general practice as a career.” favourite”. Before, it was around 50%.
The AMA is pushing for urgent health insurance reform and significant additional funding for general practice to reverse this trend.
The government’s 10-year plan for primary care, which enjoys broad support among key stakeholders who helped shape it, noted that general practice needs to move from a model built around a structure of building blocks that fails to keep up with the increasing complexity of care and the need for GPs to spend more time with their patients.
Although there are still areas of the plan that need to be refined, we cannot afford to waste this work and must now begin to formalize an implementation plan with clear start dates.
The AMA told the Strengthening Medicare Task Force that its top priorities for immediate reform include:
Priority 1: Implement Voluntary Patient Registration (VPE)
VPE is designed to formalize and strengthen the relationship between a patient and their GP to improve continuity of care and patient experience through remote service delivery. It will give GPs the ability to define their patient population, better understand and measure outcomes of care, and apply for additional government funding to address patient needs and gaps in care.
Priority 2: Uncap and index the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP)
The WIP supports access to multidisciplinary care within the framework of a team directed and coordinated by a general practitioner. Removing the current cap on payments under the WIP and introducing annual indexation will help integrate Australia’s home medical care model and ensure that general practice continues to evolve into a center where patients can access care from a range of healthcare providers working in a model collaboration with GPs.
Priority 3: Implement simple and immediate after-hours care and wound care reforms
The definition of after-hours call should be changed to any time outside of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays to encourage more practices to stay open during those times. The current definition discourages practices from opening extended hours, forcing patients to supplement services. In relation to wound care, WADA will advocate for a Commonwealth-funded consumables program to subsidize the costs of consumables provided in general practice to patients with chronic wounds or those at risk of becoming chronic.