Candidate’s Statement

Rebuild, Rebrand and Reward

An action agenda for reform of General Practice and the RACGP

Contents

  1. Improve and revolutionise investment in primary health care
  2. Rebuild the brand ‘RACGP’ and its membership
  3. Create new RACGP community networks and hubs
  4. Unify a national voice of General Practice
  5. Centralise our work of patient centred care with innovation and technology
  6. Reinvigorate the RACGP leadership and board on mission and values

1. Improve and revolutionise investment in primary health care

We will have to fight hard to ensure that General Practice is rewarded for full scope of practice.    Funding and professional autonomy and the full utilisation of our skills are key issues.

There are four main revenue streams for funding General Practice and all need some degree of reform; Fee for service, Medicare insurance reform, PIP bundled payments and private insurance such as Workcover/TAC.  The essential component of any reform is retention of physician autonomy in health care decisions.  Access must be equitable for all Australian citizens. GP autonomy and discretion for charges is essential. There are opportunities and examples for other innovation in funding models such as NACCHO and community owned centres.

The action agenda:

  • Legislation on gap fees needs a careful review. Gap fees are an essential strategy to reduce pressure on Government, patients and practices.  
  • Government has to provide an adequate safety net for vulnerable patients
  • A per-minute MBS rebate ensures equal value and reward for all GP visits.
  • Equal funding for non-procedural vs procedural visits is required (to reward holistic care). This will recognise and reward longer, complex clinical visits.
  • Areas of high priority for funding include mental health, aged care, and chronic disease management. These require item number reform and structural reform.
  • Item numbers and rebates should reward the longitudinal care of patients with multi morbidity.
  • Telehealth and e-communication must be preserved and protected for a patient’s GP.
  • Funding should not be linked with externally applied pay-for performance. It didn’t work overseas and it won’t work here. 
  • Funding should be linked with evidence based GP-led quality care.
  • Data governance within technology is a key part of managing GP led innovation.

Back to top

2. Rebuild the brand ‘RACGP’ and its membership

Membership of the RACGP must have value.  Member led feedback and RACGP response to critical appraisal is vital. Critics will be welcomed and continuous improvement in organisation methods and message is vital.  The CPD home and reporting of points will be an added bonus to the value of RACGP membership.  RACGP must engage educate and energise their members.

The action agenda:

  • Rebranding GPs to RACGP accredited specialist GPs or family physicians or other agreed name is essential to ring-fence  our speciality. This elevates and modernises the specialist GP for appropriately qualified GPs and needs to be attached to recognised quality and standards.
  • Registrars and Supervisors must be looked after in the transition to training.   Education and training of the next generation of GPs is a prime RACGP purpose. Continuing to develop the capacity of the RACGP to deliver for Registrars and for Supervisors is an essential need.  Not losing the intellectual capital already invested   in these highly committed GPs is an exercise in highly skilled communication.
  • Communication regarding exam structures and proposed changes must be improved, be clear and not create disadvantage.
  • Demonstrate that guidelines, standards and accreditation are RACGP quality brands. Make sure that this brand is recognised by patients as a quality indicator of practice.
  • Subsidise community and collegiate networking events.
  • Increase opportunities for professional development and leadership training.
  • Increase business development services and management consultancy for all GPs.
  • Protect and increase the commercial benefits of RACGP membership.          

Providing:

  • Free employment advertisements.
  • Full subscription to the AJGP premier GP journal in Australia.
  • RACGP national advocate for GPs and partner organisations.
  • Enhance the concierge member service providing a huge range of discounts on commercial products and services for both personal and business use.

Back to top

3. Create new RACGP community networks and hubs

The loss of General Practice divisions has reduced our education and collegiality networks.

The action agenda:

  • Create RACGP community networks and education hubs.  The RACGP networks will develop context based education, professional development, communication, research, collegiality, and networking. There is documented success of these hubs overseas e.g. Scotland.
  • The GP networks are GP led, GP focussed and create communication channels beyond the national board rooms into every corner of our nation.
  • A RACGP GP representative in every area is a good innovation for responsive community care needs and will assist the RACGP in responding to member needs.

Back to top

4. Unify a national voice of General Practice

There is a continued political effort to disorganise the voice of General Practitioners. Creating competition is a distraction and a political strategy that needs to be resisted. GPs must have a fair go in the health system. 

The action agenda:

  • I will establish the National Council of Primary Care Doctors to provide a united approach to patient centred primary care. These governing bodies will include: AMA, RDAA, ACRRM, GPSA, GPRA, NACHHO and AGPA.  The purpose is to stop the degradation of primary care by commercial interests, and vigorously defend longitudinal, continuous, patient-centred care.   The farming of General Practice activity will stop.  Key areas of focus include addressing; fragmentation of GP care, and practice ownership.  Team based care develops patient outcomes. All aspects of policy affecting our delivery of quality care will be addressed within this collaboration, uniting and amplifying our strengths.
  • State and federal jurisdictional dysfunction in the health care system needs to stop. Stronger partnerships with the State Health Departments need to be developed further, as the bushfires and COVID-19 crisis has shown.  As federally funded practitioners we serve the states constituents. RACGP Victoria have developed networks within Victorian Department of Health where the whole RACGP faculty fulfils the role of the liaison GP
  • My experience and health department relationships via the Victorian Faculty, can facilitate improved GP collaboration. This is an innovative model for overcoming the state-federal divides in funding, communication and supply chain management.

Back to top

5. Centralise our work of patient centred care with innovation and technology

Patient care in Australia is unique and needs to be preserved.  Our patients are our greatest allies and advocates. We must engage them in preserving Australia’s health care standards.

Patients cannot be left out of the health care reform agenda and primary care implementation goals. There are national patient organisations with whom we must engage. Patient care matters.  It’s why we do what we do and it’s the reason we dedicated our lives through rigorous speciality training to deliver high quality safe care. 

The action agenda:

  • Set quality standards and accreditation including a review of PSR processes.
  • Taking the lead GP quality standards will continue to generate returns on the health care dollar.
  • The RACGP can be developed further into a standard bearer of world’s best practice in technical and academic care.
  • RACGP will be the standard bearer of high quality care.
  • Patients will be brought with us on this journey to advocate for the national treasure of primary care.

Back to top

6. Reinvigorate the RACGP leadership and board on mission and values

My intention is to focus the vision back on value for members and the delivery of outcomes. Board unity is paramount to the successful delivering of services of members. Working together is key.

The action agenda:

  • There cannot be any more focus on the internal politics of the RACGP when the member issues are so pressing.
  • The board must align with the members on the exciting future of rebuilding, rebranding and rewarding General Practice.
  • The role of the President is to communicate well between the board the members, advocate to stakeholders and leave no-one behind in this collaboration for health care excellence.

Back to top

Copyright Dr Karen Price © 2020. All Rights Reserved. Site design by Creative Brew.

Advertising material for RACGP election 2020.