Crisis in General Practice: Need for Fundamental Reform

General practice is the foundation of the Australian health system. But it is in a state of crisis. This crisis is having an adverse impact on patients and families, on GPs and primary health care staff, and on the hospital system. Patients have difficulty in accessing timely and affordable primary health care, with no bulk billing general practices in Newcastle and many people having to wait months for an appointment with a GP. GPs are burnt out and retention of staff in general practice is challenging.  These challenges are even greater in rural and remote areas.

The Medicare Benefits Schedule, introduced in 1984 is the funding mechanism for our universal healthcare system and may no longer be fit for purpose. The Medicare rebate has been frozen for the last ten years. The Australian Medical Association estimates that this freeze has stripped $3.8 billion dollars from primary care impacting on the viability of general practice.

The June event for the Newcastle Institute will discuss the discuss the crisis in general practice and the need for policy and funding reforms. Our expert panel includes:

  • Dr Fiona Van Leeuwen, GP and Chair of the Hunter General Practitioners’ Association
  • Mel Cromarty RN with 27 years experience and post-graduate qualifications in primary care nursing
  • Dr Michelle Redford, GP
  • Dr Nigel Lyons, Specialist Advisor to the NSW Ministry of Health

Our experts will discuss the drivers of this crisis and consider the policy and funding reforms necessary to restore general practice to the foundation of the health system.  They will consider workforce, models of care, and access challenges as well as the policy settings and Medicare funding mechanisms for high quality general practice.

Date: Wednesday 14 June 2023

Time: 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Place: Souths Merewether, 46 Llewellyn St, Merewether NSW 2291

Members entry is complimentary – we request a $10 donation from casual attendees – Both Members and casual attendees, please use the button below to register.

Live stream available on Newcastle Institute Facebook page – video posted here on website following the event.





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