What do GPs want from the College in 2024?





CPD tops the list…

As the RACGP welcomes its sixth CEO in four years, we asked GPs what they think should be the College’s highest priority for 2024.

A clear majority of 70% of GPs said making CPD simpler and less onerous should be the RACGP’s main focus, followed by improving the financial viability of general practice (chosen by 54%) and lobbying for further increases to Medicare funding (49%), Healthed’s 12 December survey has found.

The survey was a follow-up after more than 1000 GPs responded to the same question in free text comments in a survey two weeks earlier, and the single most common response by far was to advocate for simpler, less onerous, less expensive CPD. We incorporated the top responses into this past week’s survey question.

While GPs are a heterogeneous bunch, some key themes emerged in the 28 November survey:

  • Pushing for changes to make CPD less confusing and stressful was cited by more than 1 in 6 GPs.
  • About 1 in 9 GPs said the College should focus its efforts on further increasing Medicare rebates and bulk billing incentives
  • 1 in 10 said attracting more medical graduates and trainees to the profession should be the biggest priority
  • Improving financial viability, remuneration and funding for general practice was named by 1 in 17
  • And 1 in 21 GPs said payroll tax should be the biggest focus for next year.

Interestingly, there was considerable overlap when we asked what GPs considered the RACGP’s biggest achievement this past year. The most frequently cited wins were the boost to bulk billing incentives and other Medicare improvements, but support with CPD and advocating for payroll tax amnesty were also named by many as key achievements.

GPs 2024 wish list – in your own words

Advocate for simpler CPD

“Easing up on flogging our over-worked and over-stressed and over-tired GPs to work even harder to fulfil getting their “hours” before the 1 year deadline.”

“Although I have received the required CPD points I think it has become too onerous for GPs to achieve these requirements and many will leave the profession.”

“Lobby for reduction in CPD Hours for doctors over the age of 60 years.”

Improving access to Medicare

“Support for doctors who continue to bulk bill those who do not have health care cards because of socioeconomic problems. Emergency Departments are not able to cope as some patients cannot afford private fees.”

“Improved federal government remuneration that actually reflects the costs of providing quality care.”

“Increase Medicare rebate, triple bulk billing incentive to all MBS item numbers, not just consultations, and remove minimum time for level B consultation – base it on complexity, not time.”

Improving financial viability

“Bringing billing in GP into line with other specialists either with higher rebates or education of patients to expect to pay or insurance to cover gaps in GP. We cannot go on being a charity.”

“Educate government that nothing will encourage more graduates to enter general practice unless remuneration is improved.”

“Fight for improving MyMedicare policy, lobbying for increased government funding for primary care.”

Continued payroll tax advocacy

“Helping practices to stay operating regarding the payroll tax in Victoria.”

“Stop the payroll tax. This is a ridiculous pressure on practices. I am not an employee of my workplace so should not be treated as such.”

“Continue to pressure Government on revision of payroll tax reform.”

Promote the profession

“True advocacy for the lowly GP, encouraging young doctors to take up the amazing role of a GENERAL practitioner.”

“Make general practice a desired specialty for new medical graduates.”

“Improving the status of general practice in the eyes of the public and graduates so as to recruit more GPs.” “Continue to push for recognition of value and skills of GPs and recognition financially as specialists.”

Advocacy for GP

“Abolish authority script requests.”

“How about getting the government to micromanage us LESS (explosion in item numbers with vague descriptors – but you are a crook if you get it wrong…)”

“Reduce Medicare red tape. Simplify Medicare item numbers.”

Note: This story was first published on 7 December, 2023, and updated on 15 December, 2023.

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