The crisis in primary care is now acute, with less than 15% of graduates choosing general practice, compared to more than 40% a decade ago.
You and I can see our community suffering and general practice experiencing burn out. Substantial investment in quality general practice as part of major health system reform has been an urgent need for more than two decades. Yet, professional consensus on the best ways forward and government commitment to reform have both been hard to find.
It does not happen often, but currently there is unprecedented consensus among national leaders and health stakeholders that primary health care reform is urgently needed, and that we must look beyond hospital funding arrangements to reshape the whole system.
The primary care sector, Commonwealth and state governments, PHNs, the AMA and the RACGP have all endorsed the 10 Year Primary Health Care Plan. This endorsement was reaffirmed during this year’s election cycle and again in Canberra in May, at the Primary Health Care Reform Leaders’ Summit.
The summit highlighted three necessary measures for delivery within the next 12 months:
The introduction of voluntary patient registration to promote a long-term relationship with a practice and a preferred GP.
The expansion of the guidelines and funding for the Workforce Incentive Program.
The introduction of local “healthcare neighbourhoods”.
Taken together these foundations will boost integrated, coordinated, multidisciplinary care.
We cannot afford to lose the momentum for change.
We need an RACGP President who:
deeply understands what is damaging quality general practice and has a proven track record in advancing quality and health system reform,
is a proven advocate and change agent, and
is experienced in working in and with not just the college, but PHNs, regional training providers, departments of general practice and governments at both levels.
In other words, we need a proven leader who can bring disparate organisations and practitioners together to seize this opportunity for major reform now presented to us.
Have your say and vote for the next RACGP President. Voting has opened today, August 29, and closes on September 8.
Make your vote count; click here and vote now.
WNSW PHN CEO.