"We're working to improve health care in our community through strong general practice"

July 2017

From the Chair

I have been to a couple of forums recently where Health Planning has been discussed. Maybe because General Practice is so well established, acknowledged as the cornerstone of Primary Health Care and so well run that we don't get on the agenda or we are not represented at these fora because GPs are working in practices seeing patients. I think it may be the latter.

I went to the Mental Health Planning Day where the funding after 2018 is open for discussion. I think the problem is with Mental Health that everything is put in the one basket. Certainly the social determinants of health such as education, social support, housing and jobs are important but the patients need to enter the Medical Model for treatment of their condition. Some despite all the efforts to avoid hospital admission actually need to be in hospital. There also needs to be evidence that models that are funded work. It is also not good to throw the baby out with the bathwater and if a service is working build on it rather than start afresh. I think there is enough evidence now hence the Health Care Homes that a patient with a specific GP in a practice with a Primary Healthcare team has better outcomes than a patient who goes from practice to practice.

As I have said before General Practices are easily accessible, trusted, already have the infrastructure and 85 % of the population goes to them each year. The problem I find is knowing what other services are out there as they tend to come and go with funding. The patient never seems to fit the criteria for referral despite the patient requiring a service. Maybe it will all change with the NDIS and My Aged Care where the patient can use their funding to pay for a service. Unfortunately the system is going to be so complex that the patients will be paying a navigator to negotiate services for them. You may be already seeing these navigators advertised on TV and digital media.

Speaking of digital media I encourage to join and add comments to GPpartners facebook page but other very active sites are Brisbane Medical Mums and Business for Doctors. There is a lot of discussion on varied topics from Clinical to how to run a business. 

Jayne Ingham
Chair, GPpartners