Krystyna de Lange
I chose general practice as a specialty because I yearned to develop long-term relationships with my patients. To be their doctor, but also to be their advocate and to truly make a difference to their healthcare experience and, ultimately, their journey through life.
Dr Harry Nespolon
Being a GP is an incredibly rewarding profession and the data has consistently indicated that patients also have a very positive experience when they visit their GPs.
I am genuinely proud of the work that every one of our general practitioners do each day throughout the whole of our country, caring for all Australians.
It's a good report. I think it's fair to say a clear-eyed report. It's a an objective analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in our health system, which I regard as an imperfect act of genius.
The Medicare system, our creation of universal healthcare is, I think, one of the great achievements of Australia over the last 40 years. I often look at the health debates in other countries, including the United States, and just wonder how they could get it so wrong so consistently, when we've struck a good balance. But it is very imperfect with a long way to go, and your report highlights, I think, many of the issues that we need to tackle.
Richard Di Natale
What it does highlight is that the part of our health system which is the most cost-effective, I mean, it’s the most important part of our health system, that interface between a member of the community and their GP, that trusted relationship, is the most important, most cost-effective investment that governments can make.
You're there riding the highs and lows. You're involved in some of the most intimate moments in people's lives, telling someone who's been trying to conceive a child for the first time that they're pregnant or alternatively that they're not pregnant after years and years of struggle, the death of a parent or a loved one, the death of a child. And this is a heavy burden that all of you have to endure each and every day. I found my job as a GP incredibly rewarding, but hugely emotional.
It's a tough gig and we don't reward it or recognise it enough. When you've got the disparity in income between a GP who spends now almost as much time training as most of our specialists do, we need to start rewarding that.
Thank you for what you do. You make a huge contribution in keeping Australia a healthier, safer, more productive place, and I want to thank you for it.
What this report sets out, the General Practice: Health of the Nation report, is no surprise but it's immensely important. It's important because what it says is that the most common reason for people to visit the GP is mental health. Let's start with that point. That says that something that we suspected, something that we understood, is confirmed with hard evidence, and that reminds us of the immense importance of this issue.
I am genuinely delighted to officially launch the General Practice: Health of the Nation report for 2019.