An OECD report has confirmed that GP-led primary care is a cost effective way to promote good health while sending a warning about the need to better promote general practice as a career.
The OECD Health Data 2009 report says despite the growing need for GPs worldwide there is an increasing trend towards specialization. The number of specialists rose by 60% between 1990 and 2007, compared with only a 23% increase in GPs.
AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said the report sends a strong message to Government on primary health care reform in Australia.
"The clear message is that any plan to improve primary care must include increased support for general practice," Dr Pesce said.
"The Government has made a good start through increasing the number of GP training places, but more needs to be done to continue to attract our best and brightest to general practice.
"Last week the Productivity Commission reported that GPs continue to be tied down by red tape, which is one of the reasons that doctors opt for other specialty areas."
Dr Pesce said that the AMA Council of General Practice met in Canberra today and highlighted the role GPs played in providing continuous comprehensive care for their patients as being one of the success stories of the Australian health system.
"The AMA is looking to the Government's response to the three health reform reports it has received as promoting and supporting the core role of general practice," Dr Pesce said.