RACGP welcomes Greens’ commitment to preventive care

Paul Hayes

3/05/2019 11:31:18 AM

The RACGP has commended the pledge to ‘put prevention at the heart of health’.

Richard Di Natale
Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale.

The Greens have said they want to ‘put prevention at the heart of health’, with the party announcing the establishment of an independent preventive health commission, as well as additional funding to support patients with chronic health conditions.
‘The Greens’ health platform recognises that healthcare requires a long-term vision,’ RACGP spokesperson Dr Cameron Loy said.
‘Helping Australians to live well means supporting their health at every stage of life – not just once they become unwell.
‘A preventive approach to healthcare, which provides people with opportunities to make choices that allow them to live long and healthy lives, regardless of income, education or location, is vital to addressing health gaps.’
In particular, the RACGP has commended the Greens’ commitment to helping Australians experiencing chronic illnesses.
‘Currently, 87% of Australians over the age of 65 have at least one chronic condition, and 50% of all Australians report having more than one chronic disease,’ Dr Loy said.
According to the Greens, the party’s $3.5 billion plan will provide services for up to 500,000 people with chronic physical illnesses and 500,000 people with chronic mental health conditions each year. Its ‘team-based healthcare for people with chronic conditions’ scheme will:

  • reorganise the current GP payment system, with $1000 payments available to GP practices for each enrolled patient to compensate doctors for delivering high quality chronic disease care
  • give patients who are in the scheme access to $750 of allied health professionals’ care through Primary Health Networks (PHNs) – practitioners eligible for this scheme will be determined by GPs and PHNs
  • develop nationwide standards and models of care for the treatment of chronic disease
  • improve data collection across the primary health system so patient outcomes can be better monitored and assessed
  • develop a national framework for chronic disease identification and treatment, including patient risk profiles, performance targets and detailed care pathways.
‘The current Medicare rebate structure does not adequately support the complexity or comprehensiveness of care needed by patients with chronic health conditions,’ Dr Loy said.
‘The RACGP welcomes the additional funding proposed by the Greens.’

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