A look into the future of general practice

Matt Woodley

25/10/2019 1:15:48 PM

The RACGP’s Vision addresses a range of issues and pressures facing Australian health.

The Vision
The Vision will form the basis of the RACGP’s advocacy strategy for health system reform and features a strengthened patient-centred view of healthcare provision.

The newly updated Vision for general practice and a sustainable healthcare system (the Vision) aims to demonstrate how well-supported GP teams can deliver sustainable, equitable and high-value healthcare that benefits patients, providers and funders.
Building on the 2015 edition, the Vision will form the basis of the college’s advocacy strategy for health system reform and features a strengthened patient-centred view of healthcare provision that outlines the value of GPs as stewards and patient advocates.
The updated version was officially launched at GP19 by RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon.
‘The Vision has been developed by specialist GPs because they are the health professionals with the dual roles of providing whole-of-person care and acting as stewards for the rest of the health system,’ he said.
‘GPs have their finger on the pulse in identifying where the health system isn’t working to meet the health needs of all Australians.’
Dr Nespolon called the Vision a seminal document for the RACGP.
‘It’s a framework for excellence in patient-centred healthcare which aims to address the many challenges faced by GPs and general practices,’ he said.
‘Too often we focus on what is wrong with our healthcare system without providing alternatives for how it could be improved. This re-launch provides strong solutions for improving patient care in all communities.’
A particular focus of the report is to highlight the need for enhanced support for evidence-based preventive care, which requires increased investment in general practice research.
It also contains evidence demonstrating the value of GPs in the Australian healthcare system and the savings that could be achieved through better use of general practice, as well as a clearer strategy for implementation.
The Vision states that reorientating the health system towards primary care would bring ‘huge’ benefit to health funders, GPs and patients, including a significant reduction in the costs of care through the prevention and early detection of illness, and therefore reduced avoidable hospital use.
It also points to the increased economic productivity such a system would provide, as people will be healthier and able to contribute more actively in society, while advocating for improved access to care in a preferred community setting, and reduced out-of-pocket costs.
Finally, the Vision calls for funding to support aspects of care currently unsupported by the Medicare system which, when combined with other reforms, would lead to increased provider satisfaction and encourage graduates to the profession, ensuring the sustainability of the future medical workforce.
‘The adoption of our Vision and a well-resourced general practice sector is critical in addressing the challenges facing patients, funders and providers, now and well into the future,’ Dr Nespolon said.

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