GPs Across Australia Unite for Patient Care

by VR Sreeraman on Oct 18 2008 1:34 PM

General Practitioners from across Australia are concerned that the health of their patients will suffer without urgent action in a number of key health policy areas.

In the first meeting of a newly formed national group, the GPs identified a number of critical steps that are needed to maintain Australia’s world-leading primary healthcare system.

The group, United General Practice Australia, said fixing the shortage of GPs and other health workers was a priority.

The group called for the urgent funding of 100 extra GP training places a year for the next five years to meet current and future needs. They also highlighted the need to increase the number of general practice nurses across Australia and support their role.

The valuable role of international medical graduates was also highlighted along with the urgent requirement to improve support, training and mentoring to maximise their contribution to quality care.

The GPs raised concerns about government plans to take over national registration and accreditation across the medical profession. While supporting national registration, the GPs were concerned about shifting accreditation and training decisions from health professionals to a national bureaucracy.

They said the proposed new scheme put the setting of medical standards and training at risk and needs urgent amendment.