Fed Budget must provide adequate funding for GPs: RACGP

03 May, 2016

Today’s Federal Budget is the final chance for the Federal Government to show Australia it is serious about providing adequate funding for GPs and our world-class healthcare system, according to The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) President Dr Frank R Jones.

'For more than a year, the RACGP has been strongly advocating for a reversal of the freeze on the indexation of the Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) and to adopt realistic funding strategies to better support general practice patient services,' Dr Jones said.

'Primary healthcare services are efficient and cost effective and prevent higher expenditure on more expensive hospital services but the indexation of MBS patient rates must keep pace with the cost of quality healthcare services or the whole system will suffer.

'Reversing the freeze on the indexation of the MBS is absolutely essential if the Government is to be true to its stated goal of improving general healthcare standards.

'The freeze is not just bad economics, it's bad for health.'

Dr Jones said the election expected in July will give voters an opportunity to make a judgement call depending on what tonight's Budget reveals.

In February the RACGP made a pre-budget submission which outlines another key recommendation for the nation's health; the realistic steps necessary towards implementing the patient-centred medical home to provide patients with quality care in context, especially for patients with multiple chronic diseases.

The RACGP's 2016-17 pre-budget submission is available on the RACGP website.