RACGP unveils fresh advocacy network couched in stale plan

3 minute read

In a bid to increase transparency and accountability, the college has released a document detailing its official positions on everything from climate to payroll tax.

The RACGP has revealed a shiny new advocacy plan for general practice, vowing to … keep on doing what it was doing.  

It will, however, start a new GP network for members interested in advocacy work. It is creatively titled “GP advocate network”.  

GPs who are interested in joining the network will get training and support to build relationships with their local state and federal representatives. 

“Advocates will have regular contact with the politicians in their community to advocate for RACGP priorities as well as being a voice on local community health issues,” the college said.  

The move comes after 96% of fellows rated advocacy as important in last year’s member survey and represents a more aggressive footing for the college. 

“General practice must be supported to thrive in Australia, and I encourage all our members to join us in calling for the changes needed to improve the health of our profession, and our patients across the country,” college president Dr Nicole Higgins said.  

Released to coincide with the start of the 2024 Practice Owners Conference, the new advocacy plan details four “strategic priority areas” in which the college will focus its advocacy.  

These include:  

  • Embedding general practice as central to the health system; 
  • Ensuring the viability of general practice; 
  • Supporting the primary care workforce; and  
  • Advocating for health system quality. 

Each broad priority area comes with several more specific “focus areas”, like embedding cultural safety for Indigenous patients or improving care transitions in general practice.  

The focus areas then have specific federal and state advocacy goals.  

Most of these will be familiar to members, like the call to increase the rebate for GP mental health items by 20% to support at-risk populations and embed general practice care as central to the health system or plans to lobby states to commit to not collecting retrospective payroll tax liabilities in the name of restoring and ensuring the viability of the profession.  

Other agenda items that may ring a bell for fellows include asking for funding to bring GP registrar entitlements in line with those of hospital-based trainees and implementing streamlined national hospital credentialing. 

In a way, it should be familiar. The plan itself states that it is meant to act as a guide for the college during a period of substantial reforms triggered by last year’s Strengthening Medicare Taskforce Report.  

“It will be a compass to ensure our advocacy is clear, consistent, and focused,” the plan reads.  

“Its advocacy priorities and objectives have been developed collaboratively between our state and territory based and national faculties, our RACGP expert committees and the college’s own internal expertise.” 

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×