Election Outcomes for GP

As the outcomes of the federal election become clearer it is looking increasingly  likely that the Australian Labor Party will have a majority in the House of Representatives, but they will need to have the support of the Greens and independents in the Senate.

While welcoming the announcement of additional funding under the Strengthening Medicare GP Grants program, and additional funding under the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce the AGPA Chair Dr John Deery commented on 14 May that “the increased funding for Medicare and direct grants to General Practices proposed by the ALP, while welcome, do not go far enough to reverse a decade of neglect“.  Media release 14 May is here

The Labor Party Website advises:

Under the  Strengthening Medicare GP Grants program they have promised to invest in local GP practices.

Labor will invest $220 million in grants for GPs to upgrade IT systems including to support telehealth consultations, upskill staff, purchase new equipment, upgrade practices to be COVID safe, and make other improvements to ensure GPs can see more patients and provide better care.

Grants will be provided depending on GP practice size, with smaller practices being able to access grants of up to $25,000 and larger GPs being able to access grants of up to $50,000. Grants will be administered by the Department of Health, with GP practices needing to demonstrate how investments will improve the care they provide and their ability to see patients.

This added investment will not be contingent on GP practices co-investing.


Labor will establish the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce, to be Chaired by the Minister for Health, bringing together Australia’s health policy leaders, including the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, the Consumer Health Forum, and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. Labor will consult with additional stakeholders on the full membership of the Taskforce in government, including representatives from nursing and allied health.

The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce will work to deliver concrete results for patients, including:

  • Improved patient access to General Practice, including after-hours GP access.
  • Improved Patient access to GP led multidisciplinary team care, including nursing and allied health.
  • Greater patient affordability.
  • Better management of ongoing health conditions including chronic conditions.
  • Decreased pressure on hospitals.

The Taskforce will make concrete recommendations by the end of the year, to be implemented as a matter of urgency, and will commence its work upon Labor forming government and its establishment.

This will not be another talkfest to delay real change.

Labor’s Strengthening Medicare Taskforce will build on previous work to decide on and deliver the highest priorities to start fixing the primary healthcare crisis.

The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce will be backed by $750 million of additional investment over the forward estimates – $250 million per year from 2023-24 – to deliver the highest priority investments in Medicare, in line with the priorities of the Taskforce.


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