21 November 2022

RACGP annual conference to tackle the big issues facing Australian general practice

GPs from across Australia will gather in Melbourne to discuss the big issues facing general practice at the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) annual conference GP22, from 25th to 27th November.

GP22 is a COVIDsafe event, bringing together GPs to connect in-person at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

RACGP President Adj. Professor Karen Price said the conference was a timely opportunity for GPs to come together.

“GP22 is an opportunity for GPs from across the nation to connect in-person to discuss the major issues facing general practice, and advancements in medical practice,” she said.

“And it couldn’t come at a more important time, with mounting evidence showing urgent reforms are needed to pivot healthcare funding to preventing illness, rather than the current hospital-centric model. Because this model sees people ending up in hospital for conditions that could and should have been managed by a GP in the community.

“I’m looking forward to the opening plenary by renowned researcher Professor Jens Søndergaard, which will examine how investment in primary care can improve health outcomes and reduce spending on expensive tertiary care.

“We know this approach works, and Prof Søndergaard will explain how using his country Denmark as an example. Because Denmark has already done this. They invested in primary care and, as a result, they saw improved health outcomes for patients and a reduction in overall healthcare spending. Australia can learn a lot from this approach.

“And the RACGP is continuing to urge the federal government to adopt a similar approach. We need to pivot our healthcare system to one that prevents illness and keeps people well in the community, in which general practice plays a central role.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers research has shown the benefits of investing in general practice care in Australia could produce improved health outcomes, as well as at least $1 billion in efficiencies in the first year and $5.6 billion over five years, with considerable savings on hospitalisations and emergency presentations.

“I am also very much looking forward to connecting with my fellow GPs. The College’s annual conference is the premier event for GPs from across Australia to get together, and we have had quite a gap between events due to the pandemic.

“I want to recognise the pressure GPs have been under these past few years. GPs have been on the frontline of the pandemic, rolling out the nation’s largest vaccination program, managing COVID-19 cases in the community and long COVID, and the list goes on. I want to sincerely thank you all for your hard work, and hope those who can make it to Melbourne come away with inspiration and energy for the future.”

The GP22 program includes a variety of presentations from industry leaders on topical health issues, including climate change and human health, family violence and abuse, voluntary assisted dying and legal implications for GPs, and mental health in general practice, as well as new and emerging clinical research.

Several sessions will look at the latest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and supporting patient-centred care, as well as rural health, and future opportunities and challenges for rural general practice.

The conference will kick off with workshops for GPs, covering rural emergency medicine, skin cancer, and doctors’ mental health.

GP22 will close with the College’s 2022 National Academic, Fellowship and Awards ceremony on Sunday 27th November. The National Awards celebrates the achievements and contributions of GPs in our community.

The full program and registration for GP22 is online: https://www.racgp.org.au/gp22/gp22-home

The RACGP’s Vision for general practice and a sustainable healthcare system (Vision) outlines the urgent need to restructure the healthcare system into one that prevents illness, and provides the right care for patients when and where they need it, and is sustainably funded into the future.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting found that implementing The Vision would create substantial economic benefits by reducing the need for more expensive secondary care and improving the nation’s productivity through a healthier workforce. 

Media enquiries

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