Date: 7 September 2015
The RACGP thanks the Commission for the opportunity to provide feedback on the Discussion Paper Establishing National Priorities for Clinical Practice Guidelines 2015. Clinical guidelines need to provide advice and guidance that reflects the reality of modern clinical practice and our populations’ needs. Australia faces a growing problem of multimorbidity and the presence of multiple chronic conditions in a single individual is both common and increasingly the norm in general practice patients.
Whilst the Discussion Paper touches on the management of people with multimorbidity as “one of many contemporary challenges in the health system”, the priority list does not include multimorbidity, instead largely focusing on single diseases topics. Single disease specific guidelines do not adequately address the assessment and management of patients with multimorbidity. Furthermore, treatment and management of one disease can often contribute to poorer outcomes of a co-existing disease.