Skip to content
Medical Health Aged Care

RACGP warns against duplicating health services for people living with disability

Royal Australian College of GPs 2 mins read

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) is calling for the establishment of multi-disciplinary care teams with GPs to improve the health of people living with cognitive disability. 

In a submission to the government’s response to the Royal Commission into violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation of people with a disability, the RACGP said funding existing health services would be a better use of limited resources.  

In its response to the Royal Commission, the government has recommended state and territories establish and fund specialist health and mental health services and introduce ‘health navigators’ for people with cognitive disability. 

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said it makes more sense to support existing health services including GPs. 

“While the RACGP largely supports the government's recommendations, it is concerning that the recommendation to establish specialist services doesn’t mention GPs at all – this is a big oversight,” she said. 

“GPs play an integral role in disability care. We support patients from the day they’re diagnosed and are the central point for managing their care, working with other health professionals, their family and carers. GPs can make NDIS planning more efficient, reduce duplication, and better target supports because they know their patient and what works for them.  

“As it stands, patients’ Medicare rebates don’t cover the true cost of providing comprehensive care to people with disability, and GPs are often left out-of-pocket for things, like completing NDIS paperwork if the patient isn’t present. 

“Rather than funding the establishment of new services for people living with cognitive disability, the smartest and most-cost effective investment would be to fund multi-disciplinary care teams with GPs. We shouldn’t reinvent the wheel, it’s costly and causes fragmentation of care which isn’t good for a patients’ health. 

“The Royal Commission made it clear that more needs to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of people with disability. We need to get this right. Comprehensive care delivered by GP coordinated teams that are properly funded will improve quality of life for people with cognitive disability and be a much more cost-effective use of limited resources.” 

In its submission to the government’s response to the Royal Commission, the RACGP supported the recommendations to improve training in cognitive disability healthcare. The College also recommended: 

  • Increasing patients’ Medicare rebates to reflect the real cost of practitioners providing comprehensive care to patients with disability 

  • Expanding funding to include telehealth consultations to better support patients with disability who have difficulties travelling, and people in rural and remote areas.   

  • Ensuring the key role played by GPs in disability and support is included in any future reforms. 

  • Implementing health navigators, with additional consideration for those living in rural and remote areas and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

~ENDS 

RACGP spokespeople are available for interviews: 03 8699 0992 / media@racgp.org.au


About us:

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is the peak representative organisation for general practice, the backbone of Australia’s health system. We set the standards for general practice, facilitate lifelong learning for GPs, connect the general practice community, and advocate for better health and wellbeing for all Australians.

Visit www.racgp.org.au. To unsubscribe from RACGP media releases, click here.


Contact details:

John Ronan
Media Adviser

Ally Francis
Media Adviser

Stuart Winthrope
Media Officer

Contact: 03 8699 0992media@racgp.org.au

Follow us on Twitter: @RACGP and Facebook.

More from this category

  • Medical Health Aged Care, Science
  • 02/03/2024
  • 06:21
MindEar

Talk to your family on Sunday, World Hearing Day, about their hearing issues. Help is available.

Talk to your family on Sunday, World Hearing Day, about their hearing issues. Help is available. Sunday is World Hearing Day. Many people wait too long to act with hearing issues that could be improved. MindEar’s audiologists and tinnitus researchers are available for media interviews Saturday and Sunday morning to encourage people to do something about their hearing issues. Details below. Changing mindsets: Let’s make ear and hearing care a reality for all! World Hearing Day, held on 3 March each year, raises awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss, and promotes ear and hearing care across the…

  • Contains:
  • CharitiesAidWelfare, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 01/03/2024
  • 16:07
Leukaemia Foundation / World's Greatest Shave

Barry Du Bois loses his luscious locks for a cause that’s in his blood!

Barry Du Bois has today shaved off his locks in a nod to his own journey with the blood cancer myeloma, for the Leukaemia…

  • Contains:
  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 01/03/2024
  • 14:00
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF)

ANMF Statement: Vale Linda White

The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), has been deeply saddened by the tragic death of our dear friend and Comrade, Senator Linda White. As a former Assistant Secretary of the Australian Services Union (ASU) , Linda was long-recognised for her support of working women in this country. She fiercely advocated for the implementation of paid family and domestic leave, better retirement outcomes for women and helped secure strong affirmative action targets in the ALP. Linda fought and won equal pay for 200,000 community and social services workers, securing pay rises of up to 43% for…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.