28 January 2015

Outcomes Statement for meeting held on 28 January 2015



Description and actions


Future of UGPA

  • UGPA was established as an informal group without Terms of Reference (ToR)
  • More recently, UGPA has started to publicise actions, media releases and submissions – which require more formal records, and potentially ToR
  • Whilst UGPA members will not always agree on issues, UGPA needs to focus on where each organisation does find agreement.
  • The role of UGPA should be to remind Government and other stakeholders that there are issues that all general practice groups agree on.
  • UGPA has the best representation of general practice leaders in Australia. Where possible, a unified voice will strengthen arguments.


Update on GP training

  • Boundaries, time frames and process for GP training are all still “with the Minister”


Discussion with Minister: Clarify general practice training

  • At meeting on 16 December with Minister Dutton, it was agreed that colleges would formulate combined proposals that included:
    • Agreement for governance of committee
    • Appointment by Minister of Chair and GP expert
    • Secretariat provided by the colleges.
  • Minister Ley has advised that these combined proposals from Colleges are still proceeding.
  • The understanding of the group was that this governance committee would manage transition arrangements.
  • Open dialogue is required once the proposal is submitted on 2 February 2015.
  • GP led selection process and costs of medical education need to be assessed.
  • Minister Ley confirmed that she will action the above general practice training concerns as soon as possible.


Discussion with Minister: Sustainable general practice funding

  • Minister is consulting widely with GPs.
  • GP roundtables have commenced between Minister Ley and GPs around Australia.
  • Co-payment remains Liberal policy, but they are looking at a “price signal” as opposed to cuts.
  • Minister Ley assured that the Government:
    • o are not “picking on” general practice
    • o that they do not want young doctors to avoid general practice
    • o believes change is needed for the whole health system, not just Medicare
  • The Government believes that a number of funding initiatives in general practice are a “bolt on” approach (e.g. GPMPs, TCAs, PIPs, SIPs)  The Government will start conversations with the States, leading to the federation white paper.
  • Government believes if funding is lessened, GPs can charge patients more.


Discussion with Minister: Primary Health Networks (PHNs)

  • Medicare Locals failed because there was a lack of input from general practice.
  • Minister advised that the focus has moved away from providing services to purchasing services, and that a focus on prevention will be key
  • Action: UGPA to release media statement on PHNs and write to Minister in accompaniment – Media release put on hold (Friday 13 February 2015)


Discussion with Minister: Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP)

  • UGPA is optimistic that the current expert panel will come up with some great solutions, and look forward to outcomes.
  • General practice does not have a junior doctor profile without PGPPP.
  • UGPA to release media statement on prevocational community based training, advising that the PGPPP was a useful program and universally supported.


Discussion with Minister: Red tape

  • In response to an invitation by the Minister to provide ideas for reducing red-tape, UGPA called for:
    • the removal of authority numbers o a reduction in paperwork for TCAs
    • a 3GA exemption for training
    • the removal of medical certificates (paid for by Medicare) for short term conditions
    • the streamlining of accreditation requirements for general practices (e.g. combining general practice and training accreditation)
  • Minister Ley advised that the Department of Health has a deregulation team and invited UGPA to write and address these concerns.
  • Each organisation is invited to write to the Minister regarding deregulation of red tape.


UGPA Terms of Reference

  • Members to consider ToR and provide feedback.
  • Will be raised at next UGPA meeting


Next UGPA meeting


Wednesday 25 March 2015 from 11 am to 1 pm (followed by lunch) at RACGP NSW Faculty – Level 7, 12 Mount Street North Sydney