Three things to know about Australia’s GP program

Three things that are very important to understand about Australia ‘s GP program, as the new Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, says he wants to improve.

In a briefing to the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, Dutton said he wants a better, more targeted system to deliver GP services to Australians, which he said would help people to “make informed choices about their health care and the quality of care they receive”.

“We are currently in the process of revising the current GP service delivery model that is not delivering the best outcomes for patients,” he said.

“We have a strong record of delivering high quality and patient-focused GP services and we are currently working with stakeholders to establish a more targeted delivery model, where a greater proportion of services are delivered in a specific area.”

“I would also like to see more people with chronic conditions and low income receive access to a GP service that is accessible and appropriate for their needs.”

While Dutton emphasised that the Government is committed to delivering better services, it will also “ensure that people with low income and people with complex medical conditions are able to access a GP in their area”.

“I will be announcing further details on the GP program in the coming weeks,” he added.

The minister said he wanted to ensure that “the GP system is as accessible as possible for people in remote communities, and we will be working to ensure all people with the same conditions and living in the same household receive the same service”.

“The Government will be making it clear that the primary care system will continue to be open and accessible to those who need it, including those with the most complex medical needs,” he explained.

In a recent press conference, the minister confirmed that a number of new programs would be introduced for Indigenous Australians, including a new “Medicine First” program for Indigenous children and families, a program to help people with HIV/AIDS, and a plan to “build on the achievements of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service”.

But Dutton did not specify the types of services he was looking to improve or whether they would be delivered in the new, targeted model.

He also announced plans to implement a “universal primary care model” that will allow patients to access care in any community in the country.

The minister also announced that the new GP program would be funded by a new $500 million concessional grant program, to be rolled out over five years.

“We’re putting forward a number that are not only very modest, but also very well thought through, that will be very well targeted,” he concluded.

Topics:health,health-policy,community-and-society,healthcare-facilities,health,australiaFirst posted March 03, 2019 19:37:39Contact James KallumAbout the ABC’s FourFour2 programMore stories from New South Wales

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