The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) welcomes the Australian Greens election focus on preventive health care, through the establishment of an independent Preventative Health Commission, and additional funding to support patients with chronic health conditions.
Dr Cameron Loy, spokesperson for the RACGP, has commended the Greens as the first major party to acknowledge the importance of prevention, along with serious investment in chronic disease management.
“The Greens’ health platform recognises that healthcare requires a long-term vision. Supporting preventative care will see long term benefits for all Australians,” Dr Loy said.
“More than one-third of Australia’s total burden of disease can be attributed to factors such as poor diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and high blood pressure.
“Every week over 2 million Australians see their GP, this is 2 million opportunities to talk to our patients about their health and how they can stay healthy.
“Helping Australians to live well means supporting their health at every stage of life – not just once they become unwell. A preventive approach to healthcare, which provides people with opportunities to make choices that allow them to live long and healthy lives, regardless of income, education or location, is vital to addressing health gaps.
The RACGP has also commended the Australian Greens on their commitments for helping Australians who suffer from chronic illnesses.
“Currently, 87% of Australians over the age of 65 years have at least one chronic condition, and 50% of all Australians report having more than one chronic disease.
“The current Medicare rebate structure does not adequately support the complexity or comprehensiveness of care needed by patients with chronic health conditions. The RACGP welcomes the additional funding proposed by the Greens.”
The RACGP has developed a Vision that provides the blueprint for government to restructure general practice funding to ensure the health of all Australians, now and in the future.