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17 December 2018

General practice to receive additional support to deliver aged care services

General practitioners across Australia will be better supported to deliver quality healthcare to Australians in aged care services thanks to new announcements within MYEFO 2018-19.

President of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Dr Harry Nespolon has commended the government on listening to the RACGP’s concerns regarding the challenges of delivering aged care services. The government will provide an additional $98 million over four years to ensure residents have access to the best care possible.

 “This funding is an important first step in addressing the concerns of the RACGP about the future of healthcare in residential aged care facilities,” Dr Nespolon said.

“The RACGP has been passionately advocating for a substantial government commitment to ensure certainty for GPs and their patients living in aged care.

As part of this package, a $55 Medicare payment will be introduced to cover travel time and costs for GPs attending aged care facilities and will address some of the long standing issues hindering residents from being able to make a choice of who treats them.

This goes some way to addresses RACGP advocacy surrounding the pitfalls of the residential aged care rebates by both separating out the callout fee from the patient rebate, and essentially increasing the current payment by $7.60 per aged care facility visit.

“This new style of payment goes some way to acknowledging the time and commitment required by GPs to provide often very complex services in residential aged care facilities.

The additional $98 million is part of a $512 million commitment to primary healthcare services for all Australians.

“As GPs, MYEFO displays that the government is starting to take steps in the right direction when it comes to making sure that Australians will have accessible and affordable access to primary healthcare.

“The RACGP will continue to advocate for additional funding and services to ensure that general practice is prepared for the future.”

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact John Ronan, Ally Francis and Stuart Winthrope via: