Legislative Assembly Standing Committee Media Release: Increasing the number of GPs is only one part of the solution

The following is a copy of a media release from the Legislative Assembly Committee on Health and Social Services regarding access to primary health care.

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
Standing Committee on Health, Community and Social Services
Steve Doszpot MLA (Chair), Amanda Bresnan MLA (Deputy Chair), Mary Porter AM MLA

MEDIA RELEASE

Increasing the number of GPs is only one part of the solution
Access to Primary Health Care Services

It will be some time before people in Canberra can expect to see any substantial increase in the number of practicing GPs. Mr Doszpot Chair of the Standing Committee on Health Community and Social Services said ‘increasing the number of GPs is only one part of the solution. Until that happens we must focus on looking at ways of supporting the general practices that we have, and increasing access points to primary care services for people in the ACT’.

he Standing Committee on Health Community and Social Service today tabled its report, Access to Primary Health Care Services.

The Committee heard considerable support for alternative models of care such as the nurse led clinics and increasing the role of allied health professionals.

The Committee found that the shortage of GPs, coupled with the lowest rates of bulk- billing was disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable people in the ACT, including the elderly, those on low incomes and people with a disability.

The Committee made 24 recommendations, including: a feasibility study of employing GPs in community health services; more support for GPs in community run health services; financial support for smaller practices to employ a practice nurse; and financial assistance for GPs who provide ‘continuity of care’ to elderly patients and those with chronic and complex conditions.

The Committee also recommended greater Government support for smaller general practices, particularly for those that wish to stay in local suburban areas, or establish new practices in those areas, through the provision of financial or other support such as subsidised or free rental and/or utilities, and interest free loans.

The Committee majority also recommended more information be made available about overseas trained doctors, recruited to the ACT.

Mr Doszpot said that the ‘health and wellbeing of the people of Canberra is paramount and it is up to the ACT Government to ensure that all Canberra residents have access to timely and affordable health care’.

Further information is available from the Committee Chair, Steve Doszpot on 62050131 or the Committee Secretary, Grace Concannon on
62050129.

The report is available at: http://www.legassembly.act.gov.au/downloads/reports/7th%20HCCS%2002%20access%20health.pdf

Grace Concannon?Secretary?Standing Committee on Health, Community and
Social Services? ACT Legislative Assembly Secretariat ? Ph: 02 620
50129?Fax: 02 620 50432?Email: [email protected]

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