Three key areas highlighted in the RACGP’s pre-budget submission

Paul Hayes

16/11/2017 10:23:48 AM

The RACGP has developed its 2018–19 pre-budget submission, urging the Federal Government to extend its commitment to Australians’ health by supporting three vital aspects of general practice.

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The RACGP is calling for more support in general practice placements, general practice research, and antimicrobial stewardship.

The submission outlines the benefits of greater levels of support for general practice placements for junior doctors, general practice research, and an antimicrobial stewardship program for general practice.
General practice placements for junior doctors

  • Australia is facing a medical training crisis due to the disparity between increasing numbers of medical graduates and available medical training placements. If the training system continues, Australia will have a pool of highly qualified – yet unemployed – medical graduates.
  • The Federal Government can help address these issues by establishing a national general practice placement program for prevocational doctors.
  • A nationally coordinated general practice placement program for prevocational doctors would address workforce issues, and encourage partnerships, communication and understanding between primary and secondary health systems.
General practice research
  • Most medical research continues to be conducted in the hospital sector, despite most patient health issues being managed by GPs and their teams.
  • Primary healthcare research funding represents only 2–4% of total National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding, with general practice making up an even smaller proportion.
  • The Federal Government can help address this situation by investing the infrastructure and systems that support general practice research. This includes general practice research networks and a national program for research training in general practice.
An antimicrobial stewardship program for general practice
  • The issue of antimicrobial resistance in Australia requires a collaborative, coordinated response from various sections of the community. General practice has a key part to play given GPs’ role in prescribing and healthcare coordination.
  • The Federal Government can help by implementing a three-phased approach
    • Phase 1 – Support the development of an antimicrobial audit at national and Primary Health Network levels, and educational resources for general practice.
    • Phase 2 – Expand the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) to support antimicrobial stewardship strategies in general practice.
    • Phase 3 – Strengthen evidence-based antimicrobial stewardship in general practice by funding antimicrobial resistance-specific research and supporting the integration of antibiotic prescribing support tools.
 The RACGP’s 2018–19 pre-budget submission is available online.

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