Strengthening the influence of general practice

WA Primary Health Alliance has led a unique approach to engaging directly with general practitioners. The WA GP Advisory Panel is a joint initiative between WA Primary Health Alliance, Rural Health West and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners WA.

Panel engagement on important topics has strengthened the influence of general practice in the planning, design and policy setting for primary health care.

WA Primary Health Alliance Executive General Manager, Chris Kane said, “Our agencies came together in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when we realised we were duplicating effort for ourselves and our stakeholders by consulting and engaging GPs for similar purposes.

Collaboration, pooled resources and a common agenda led to the development of the Panel model and format.

“Pleasingly, the Panel has recently been refreshed with the vast majority of the 50 existing Panel members electing to remain engaged in the Panel and 30 new applications from GPs wishing to join the Panel received.”

Value of the Panel​

  • Coordinates multiple requests for GP advice and input from WA Health, the Australian Government, Department of Health and a range of peak bodies and interested agencies​.
  • Enables focus on common strategic priorities of the lead agencies: workforce maldistribution and shortage, GP education and training needs, the importance of peer support and networking, the viability and sustainability of general practice in a complex policy environment​.
  • Supports a positive and proactive general practice voice in problem solving.

Agenda topics have included:​

  • GP wellness and self-care
  • Living with COVID-19 and challenges in general practice
  • Independent Governance Review of Health Services Act 2016
  • ​Federal Government election commitment to GP Urgent Care Clinics
  • Changes to GP CPD program and training and education opportunities
  • ​Strengthening Medicare GP grants
  • ​Regional and rural workforce issues and impact of policy changes
  • Federal Budget primary care announcements
  • ​Current GP experience with telehealth
  • WAPHA Multicultural Cultural Competency Framework
  • WA Health Outpatient Reform Program (Referral Access Criteria and Central Referral Service)
  • MyMedicare

Summaries of Panel discussions.