RACGP rejoins UGPA and it’s on a mission

3 minute read

A newly revived United General Practice Australia plans to take Canberra to task over wound management.

After a four-year absence, the RACGP has returned to United General Practice Australia (UGPA) in a big way, with RACGP President Dr Karen Price taking the role of chair.

The return of the RACGP, with its large member base lending considerable clout, has the potential to re-invigorate the advocacy group.

The group represents several peak primary care bodies, namely the AMA, RACGP, ACRRM, Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), General Practice Supervisors Australia (GPSA) and General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA).

UGPA was originally formed in 2008 with a view to create a unified voice for general practice within the larger health system.

The group went dormant in 2018 after a series of scheduled meetings were cancelled, but re-formed without the RACGP one year later, under the guidance of the RDAA.

RDAA President Dr John Hall said the federal government had previously driven a wedge between different stakeholders.

“Too often we see the divide and conquer strategy with governments playing different peak bodies off against each other,” he told TMR.

“This way we can get around the table and ensure we have a unified message on some of the really important, pressing issues.”

Although Australian Doctor reported in 2019 that then-president of the RACGP, Dr Harry Nespolon, was “not sure [UGPA] ever delivered anything”, Dr Hall said current president Dr Price had been open to the idea of re-joining UGPA for quite some time.

“Karen Price flagged during her candidacy that she would be willing to get back around the table with UGPA, so it’s very much aligned with the new presidency,” Dr Hall said.

In a communique issued by UGPA announcing the return of the college, bulk billing requirements for wound care were identified as a major area of concern for the advocacy group.

“There’s fragmented care being delivered by state outpatient departments and across general practice and community care,” Dr Hall told TMR.

“Wounds should be managed in general practice, and we’d like funding model reform which could see wound care viably managed in general practice again.”

Dr Hall also said post-COVID telehealth, rural workforce reform and the national rural generalist pathway implementation were all topics which UGPA hoped to address in the coming months.

The group plans to hold quarterly meetings in Canberra, with monthly online meetings as needed.

The UGPA revival follows hard on the heels of the formation of the Australian Society of General Practitioners, a new GP advocacy group established by former RACGP presidential nominee Dr Chris Irwin.

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×