We now have an excellent vision for a sustainable Australian healthcare system and general practice.
The final version of the vision was released by RACGP president Dr Frank Jones at the GP15 conference in Melbourne this week. It is based on feedback from over 1,000 GPs, stakeholders and consumer groups.
There are 2 elements of the vision that make it remarkable:
#1: the medical home
A stable and enduring relationship between a patient and a GP has a positive impact on health outcomes. The medical home encourages voluntary patient registration with a preferred practice. It will benefit patients and doctors as it allows for continuity of care and effective, better-targeted coordination of care to meet patient needs.
Patients may choose whether to enrol with a practice of their choice. Likewise, GPs and practices may choose to take part in the program.
Patients will be able to visit any general practice for standard care, but chronic disease management, integration of care and preventive health will be limited to their medical home.
#2: a new funding model
The RACGP proposes a major overhaul of the current funding system. It’s a flexible model and includes support for GPs and their teams to deliver multidisciplinary teamwork and coordination work on behalf of their patients.
A comprehensiveness payment made to a practice would recognise the practices and practitioners that provide a broad range of services to the community.
The current PIP and SIP regimes need to be replaced by practitioner support and practice support payments as outlined in detail in the vision document.
The story of general practice is told in this new RACGP video, spoken by Sigrid Thornton.