The past decade has been a dark time for general practice
The medicare freeze initiated by Labor and continued by the Coalition
Enforced bulk billing of telehealth - when every other single health provider - including nurse practitioners - can privately bill
The vast increase in audit used as a tool of oppression and fear
The initial healthcare homes concept - in which they didn't even attempt to hide the blatant funding cut and bureaucratic power grab. When this failed they followed up with voluntary enrollment for the over 70. This was to provide "all you can eat telehealth and prescriptions" for less than the cost of a monthly Netflix subscription.
The Professional Services Review (PSR) overstepping its' remit and now trying to dictate how GPs provide care (the mental health debacle, the ear toilet fiasco, the PSR attempts at preventing GPs from performing flaps and grafts)
The continued erosion and loss of PIP funding
Primary Health Networks (PHNs) receiving primary care funding to simply duplicate what should happen in general practice, less efficiently and with greater cost
State governments funding Urgent Care centres, in the main run by nursing practitioners, in direct competition for "low hanging general practice fruit" - once again at a far greater cost and greater risks to patients and an attack on continuity of care
MBS taskforce recommending we now should refer any wound present for more than 4 weeks to a specialist... nurse practitioner? what is happening to general practice?
The government siding with billion dollar pathology companies over general practices - banning us from changing pathology providers so we are left with little choice but to add millions to the bottom line of pathology companies through unfair rent reductions while GP owned small businesses face bankruptcy
Reduce RACGP fees by 10%.
Make the RACGP a college that exists for GPs, in which GPs not CEOs control the agenda.
Ensure Fee For Service remains the primary method of general practice funding in Australia.
To protect GPs we need a lobby group as strong as the pharmacy guild.
Imagine the good a GP lobby group could do if it put the healthcare of Australians and the GPs who care for them first.
I believe it is imperative that we must develop a “carrot and stick” approach with the government, and this requires a well-funded lobby group. We must “get out of the tent” and stop collaborating with governments who simply use us as a means to an end, ultimately harming the future healthcare of all Australians.
The Goals from lobbying
Recognition that the government does not support universal bulk billing. Changing the BB incentive to only apply to GP time based consultations. Increasing the BB incentive to $30-40
Changing the medicare safety net so that any family regardless of income (ie not just pensioners), once they pass $500 in Out of Pocket (OOP) fees in a calendar year, any further OOP costs are 80% covered by medicare.
Stop the PSR causing fear and intimidation among GPs just trying their best
Protect General Practice
Strong GP-owned General Practice is the corner stone of excellent healthcare.
We need to stop the department of health interfering with private rental agreements between primary care and pathology - helping billion dollar companies at the expense of the long term viability of GP owned medical centres. It is no coincidence the government is on the side of pathology groups who donate millions of dollars to both sides of politics every year.
We know the best health care delivered to Australians is through their local GP
We know any other health model has poorer health outcomes, higher costs both for patient and government and potential worse health outcomes.
Through making sure Australian GPs and General Practices are protected, we are doing the absolute best to ensure the protection of Australian's and their health needs.