Position paper

General practice is the cornerstone of successful primary healthcare, underpinning population health outcomes and key to ensuring we have a high-quality, equitable, and sustainable health system. A well-funded and resourced general practice sector is pivotal to improving the health outcomes of individuals and communities, and can create significant savings through better care, greater efficiency, and reducing the burden on other more expensive parts of the health system.

General practice is the most accessed form of healthcare in Australia, with almost 85 per cent of patients seeing a general practitioner (GP) each year. General practice services however only represent a small proportion of all governments expenditure on health, and government investment in general practice has not matched the increase in the cost and demand for providing high-quality patient care.

It is evident that Australians are finding it more difficult to access a GP, with growing patient demand, increased burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased reports of general practices facing financial and sustainability issues. With a population that is growing, ageing, and increasingly developing more complex health needs, and general practice sector under pressure, Australia needs to modernise Medicare to give GPs the support they need to care for the community.

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