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Episode 20

Health of the Nation 2020 report, part 2

Show notes

Welcome to Generally Speaking, the conversation for all GPs.

Join GPs Dr Gill Singleton and Dr Billy Stoupas as they discuss some of the most pressing topics and issues surrounding the operations of a general practice.

This time, Dr Stoupas and Dr Singleton wrap up the year with part 2 of the RACGP General Practice: Health of the Nation report. They are joined by Dr Michael Wright, Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee on Funding and Health System Reform, and RACGP President, Dr Karen Price. Karen is a GP, practice owner, medical educator, and co-founder of GPs Down Under (GPDU).

02 December 2020 - 01:55 PM | 25 min 8 sec

(00:21) Dr Singleton and Dr Stoupas set the scene for their discussion regarding the findings from the RACGP Health of the Nation 2020 report. This is the second instalment and covers more of the business, funding and remuneration issues from the report.

Introduction of Dr Michael Wright and Dr Karen Price

(02:10) Dr Wright and Dr Price respond to Dr Stoupas and describe their other interests and work outside of their ‘day jobs’. 

(03:56) The doctors talk through the economic benefit in making sure that preventive healthcare is invested in and that the benefit of that approach would ultimately save funds and potentially help people avoid going to more expensive hospital care.

(08:57) The discussion turns to remuneration, and ultimately the attraction of general practice as a career to young doctors. It’s a complicated subject but it seems to the doctors that a ‘portfolio’ career is the way the GP profession needs to go.

(13:56) Dr Price talks about the issue of pro-bono work. In any other profession, the amount of work that is done without reimbursement she figures would not be tolerated.

(15:32) The conversation turns to aged care and the fact that 68% of Australia’s COVID deaths were from the aged care sector. There is reform to be made in that sector and hopefully the royal commission will make some solid recommendations.

(18:49) The ratio of patients per GP comes up and the difference in perspectives on that burden/opportunity is explored.

(20:32) The doctors pick up the conversation on equity and the viability of general practice, versus the provision of equitable care to the most vulnerable people in our population.

(23:22) The conversation is wrapped up with Dr Singleton and Dr Stoupas offering their thanks and review of the chat.  

‘I think it’s [aged care]an area of ripe innovation. The royal commission will hopefully make some recommendations and hopefully with strong advocacy from the RACGP and our other partners in health, the AMA and ACRRM, we can really vigorously develop some innovation and get back into aged care and get registered nurses [involved] and develop an environment for these elderly citizens, who have carried us all before in a previous generation.’ – Dr Karen Price

GPs are providing care for the whole of their patient population. So we’re not just providing care to the person sitting in front of us and the system, and we need funding to support us to do that care and that is the care that involves coordinating people to come back for tests, making sure that people with chronic diseases are getting their appropriate follow up. Many practices for years have just been doing that, but it’s not sustainable under a system that pays the current levels of Medicare rebates. So that’s where the reform and the additional funding needs to come.’ – Dr Michael Wright

  • If you would like to learn more about Dr Michael Wright, his achievements and insights, or would like to connect, visit his LinkedIn
  • If you would like to learn more about Dr Karen Price, her achievements and insights, or would like to connect, visit her LinkedIn
  • If you would like to learn more about Dr Gill Singleton's achievements and insights, or would like to connect, visit her LinkedIn
  • If you would like to learn more about Dr Billy Stoupas' achievements and insights, or would like to connect, visit his website

Resources referred to in the Generally Speaking podcast and on the website are views of the hosts and not necessarily endorsed by RACGP.

Other episodes

Wrap of the year 2020

16/12/2020 1:58:55 PM | 25 min 14 sec

Health of the Nation 2020 report, part 1

18/11/2020 2:03:33 PM | 26 min 44 sec

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

4/11/2020 1:05:22 PM | 25 min 1 sec

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