The news is all out and we have some certainty around the DWS/DPAs for the next little while.
We have only just learned to deal with the implications of the Health Workforce Certificate regime, and we are preparing for the RACGP changes in September. But where is the logic behind all these changes?
I have to admit, when I first learned about all the policy changes, I was skeptical and thought that common sense would prevail. Surely they would see that this will be bad for the community and that Emergency Departments in hospitals everywhere will see increased Category 4 and 5 presentations.
I could not make sense of all the changes until I attended a briefing by the Department of Health a few weeks ago. Now it all makes sense. One presenter started off the presentation about Health Workforce Certificates by clarifying the objectives of the changes:
- The Government wants to reduce the number of GPs in Australia
- If new GPs are going to be allowed into the system, then they need to go to the areas of absolute greatest need.
I didn‘t write down the exact words, so don‘t quote me but the sentiments are clear and I think that they help us to make sense of everything that is happening.
Other lobbyists confirmed that Canberra is trying to make sure that the cost of Medicare doesn’t blow out. I didn‘t want to believe that either until I checked the figures. It’s true, the cost of Medicare has doubled in ten years – well ahead of inflation.
While I don‘t agree with the policy, I finally understand it and I know that we have to respond accordingly. Let’s prepare for a reduction in the number of GPs in Australia.