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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
This week is AMA Family Doctor Week 2014 – a time to acknowledge the work and dedication of the more than 30,000 GPs across Australia, who provide high quality primary health care and support to their patients, the AMA (WA) said today.
This year’s theme is Your Family Doctor – Keeping You Healthy, which encapsulates the key role that family doctors play in all our lives.
AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said that GPs are one of the cornerstones of Australia’s health care system, and a major reason for the world-class health care that Australia enjoys.
“Almost 90 per cent of the population has a regular GP, who is instilled with the trust of their patients to provide the help and guidance needed to live a healthier life,” Dr Gannon said.
“GPs are leaders in preventive health care, early diagnosis and treatment, coordinated care, and chronic disease management.
“Advice about exercise, diet, and leading a healthy lifestyle are all part of the personalised touches GPs provide to our health system, and it is imperative that these services are kept so that West Australians stay out of hospitals and keep health costs down.
“But they need to be supported in their important work.
“The AMA (WA) is concerned about some of the changes to primary care that were part of the May Budget, particularly relating to the proposed co-payment plan.
“The AMA supports GPs who privately bill their patients. However, in its current form, we do not believe that the Government’s plan is a solution to our budgetary woes.
“Any measures that could potentially exclude the most vulnerable members of our society from receiving the care that they need should be scrapped.
“Family Doctor Week allows the Association to highlight all the positives that surround general practice and family doctors, and it also allows us to discuss issues that need to be resolved to allow general practice to keep providing incredible service to our community.
“Above all, Family Doctor Week is a chance for the medical profession to remind people about the importance of looking after their health.
“If you have a family doctor, make sure you have regular check-ups.
“If you do not have a family doctor, we strongly recommend you find one locally and establish a trusting relationship that will be crucial for you to remain healthy,” Dr Gannon said.
For more information on dog week, including videos outlining the wide range of preventative care administered by family doctors, please click here.