Ley learns about medical homes from rural doctor

2 minute read

RACGP candidate Dr Shenouda showcased the medical home model during the health minister's visit this week

RACGP presidential candidate Dr Ayman Shenouda took the opportunity to show health minister how the medical home model works on the ground when she visited his practice earlier this week.

Health Minister Sussan Ley, slated by the press this week as “GP-camera shy”, made a quiet stop at Dr Shenouda’s practice at Glenrock Country Practice in Wagga Wagga on Monday.

“Obviously, I discussed how GPs are feeling about the Medicare freeze and how this would affect them, and her answer was that we have to have savings somewhere,” Dr Shenouda told TMR.

“On the other hand she was very supportive of funding for the medical home model,” he said.

The model requires patients with chronic illness to officially enroll with their local GP to have their medical needs managed by the one practice.

A two-year pilot of the ‘Health Care Homes’ program, involving up to 200 medical practices and 65,000 Australians, was announced in March, attracting $21 million in funding.

Dr Shenouda said his practice was one of many that had embraced the medical home model of care, which aims to improve the early detection of preventable disease and management of chronic conditions.

By collecting and analysing patient data, Dr Shenouda said his practice could identify strengths and weaknesses in the management of patient conditions.

“[Ms Ley] was very impressed by the extent to which the practice utilises data to better understand the health needs of our patients,” he said.

Dr Shenouda told TMR he was hoping his practice would be part of the pilot but had not heard about it to date.

He said it was important for health officials to see first-hand the practicalities and struggles involved in general practice.
“[Doctors need to] keep people in health more informed about the political decisions that they are taking,” he said.

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