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RACGP releases 2019–20 pre-budget submission


Morgan Liotta


7/02/2019 8:25:49 AM

The college has outlined its recommendations for Federal Government commitments.

The RACGP is calling for commitments to modernising medicine, reducing patient out-of-pocket costs, more support for mental health, and supporting high-quality care.
The RACGP is calling for commitments to modernising medicine, reducing patient out-of-pocket costs, more support for mental health, and supporting high-quality care.

In the Pre-budget submission 2019–20, the RACGP is advocating for the Government to commit to four key areas of healthcare:
 
Modernising medicine
The RACGP has called on the Federal Government to improve access to care through telehealth solutions by supporting patients to access their regular GPs without face-to-face consultation, thus facilitating the GP–patient relationship.
 
The college has also proposed the introduction of patient rebates for non-face-to-face GP consultations provided by email, phone or video call, and other electronic methods.
 
Reducing patient out-of-pocket costs and supporting GP services
With out-of-pocket costs increasing each year and Medicare rebates not accurately reflecting the costs of care, the RACGP has called on the Government to introduce appropriate and regular indexation against the consumer price index (CPI), to ensure the value of patient rebates maintain pace with inflation.
 
Providing more support for mental health
Mental health continues to be the most common reason Australians visit their GP, and almost half of Australia’s adult population will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime.
 
The RACGP has called on the Government to introduce additional GP mental health items (Level D: 40–60 minutes; and Level E: 60-plus minutes) for longer consultations.
 
Supporting high-quality care for those who need it most
The RACGP has called on the Government to support the comprehensive care required for management of complex care and chronic disease to accommodate an ageing population and contribute to reducing health inequalities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians.
 
A commitment to increasing the value of Level C and Level D GP consultations by 18.5% to align with rebates for other medical specialists will support the ongoing delivery of complex care, funding the 2019 version of the RACGP’s Vision for general practice and a sustainable healthcare system.
 
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said the RACGP is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the 2019–20 Federal Budget, and asks the Government to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the health of all Australians by investing in quality and accessible general practice services.
 
‘General practice is the most efficient and cost-effective form of healthcare in Australia, and it needs proper funding in order to ensure the health of people throughout the country,’ he told newsGP.
 
‘General practice is a highly specialised area of healthcare and deserves to be recognised as such with commensurate remuneration, in line with other medical specialists.’



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