Following submissions and lobbying via forums such as the PCIG and Senate inquiries two of the issues on the AGPA agenda have had positive responses from the Commonwealth Government.
Telehealth to be made permanent and included in the SWPE
The AGPA has been very active in the PCIG advocating for Telehealth to be included in the SWPE and via Senate and direct submissions to the Minister that it be made permanent.
Minister Greg Hunt today announced that the Commonwealth Government will be investing an additional $106M for a permanent teleheath service.
This investment includes $31.8 million for the Workforce Incentive Program (WIP) to provide additional funding to general practices through the inclusion of ongoing telehealth items in the calculation of the Standard Whole Patient Equivalent (SWPE).
Extension of DPA Classification to Include MMM Regions 3&4
The AGPA has made submissions to the Australian Senate and Directly to Minister Hunt regarding the shortages of GPs and options to improve the situation. One of the options to assist with alleviating the GP shortage is to expand the areas which are eligible to recruit overseas trained Doctors under the DPA system.
The current arrangement, which automatically ascribes DPA classification to GP catchments in Modified Monash Model (MMM) 5-7 regions and the Northern Territory, will be expanded to include catchments in MMM 3-4.
The means more rural and regional areas will be able to utilise the DPA system when recruiting doctors for their region, which opens access to GPs in the Bonded Medical Program and Overseas Trained Doctors.
The full transcript of the press release is here