Labor Pledges $1 Billion To ‘Strengthen’ Medicare If Elected

Improving access to GPs


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Doctors have welcomed Labor's pledge to 'strengthen' Medicare if it wins office.

The Opposition is promising $1 billion over four years to provide more support to GPs when it comes to chronic disease management and after-hours care.

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Under the new plan patients will be given better access to GPs, while doctors will be offered grants of up to $50,000 to improve their practices.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said a Medicare taskforce, made up of peak medical bodies such the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) would be established to deliver a priority roadmap for improving programs.

Mr Albanese, said too many people were telling him it was “getting harder and harder to see a doctor”.

“General practice is the cornerstone of the Australian health system”

“Australians trust their GPs. It’s a vital relationship in ensuring all Australians get the quality healthcare they deserve,” Mr Albanese said.

In addition, a further $750m in funding will be spent over four years delivering “improved patient access” to GPs, including after-hours help, and better management of complex and chronic conditions.

RACGP President Professor Karen Price said that while details were a little light, the RACGP would welcome the Oppositions plan.

"Whilst we need to see further details of the scheme, the RACGP will work with the Opposition should they form government. We need to ensure all investments will work in practice for clinicians and achieve high-quality patient care."

"It is great news that GPs and general practice teams will have a seat at the table because we will be the ones making sure that this model is functioning effectively and reaping beneficial outcomes for the patients who need it most," Prof Price said.

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13 May 2022

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