RACGP calls for basic work entitlements in Budget

Chelsea Heaney

5/04/2024 4:47:23 PM

The RACGP is pushing for Federal Government funding reform to increase basic work entitlements for GPs and subsidise training.

Doctor looking at X-Ray on computer.
The GP workforce in Australia is shrinking, despite growing demand.

The Vice President of the RACGP is calling for Federal Government funding to meet the ‘skyrocketing’ demand for GP services, as staff numbers decline. 
In light of World Health Day on Sunday 7 April, Associate Professor Michael Clements said there are critical needs left unmet for the country’s most-visited health professionals.
‘More than 22 million Australians received 179 million services from GPs in 2022, making general practitioners not only the most visited health professionals, but also the most cost-effective form of care,’ he said.
‘But demand for GP care is skyrocketing in Australia due to our demographics. We have an ageing population, and nearly half of all Australians are living with chronic illness, including mental health issues.’ 
Associate Professor Clements said GPs are the only health professionals who train for over a decade to provide primary care in the community, and called on the Government to help attract and retain doctors in that workforce.
‘More and more people require complex, ongoing care in the community,’ he said.
‘A strong general practice workforce is essential for a healthy Australia.
‘This is why the RACGP is calling for the Government to invest in the next Federal Budget to get enough GPs in every community.’
Associate Professor Clements said GP training has many barriers that could be removed.
‘This includes funding incentives and basic work entitlements – parental and study leave – so GP registrars get the same as their hospital-based counterparts,’ he said.
‘Currently GPs in training lose these entitlements and take a pay cut when they leave the hospital for private practice, and many opt to stay in the hospital system for this reason. 
‘We’re also calling for the Government to help get more international and local GPs in regional and rural Australia in the immediate future by subsidising their training to work as specialist GPs.’ 
Associate Professor Clements and the RACGP are calling for funding and reforms to improve access to affordable care for all Australians and boost the GP workforce in its pre-Budget Submission 2024–25.
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Dr Brendan Sean Chaston   9/04/2024 8:53:41 PM

As commendable as advocating for subsidies gp training maybe be I think we might be missing the forest for the trees here. How about focusing more on ensuring they actually have a relevant job in the future. Or has that bird already flown? Not hearing much from the college in this space. Is Nero fiddling whilst Rome burns?