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What has the AMA been doing for Family Doctors?

Family Doctors are the largest single specialty group of AMA members.

Family doctors are also the backbone of the primary health care system. The AMA supports family doctors in many ways because family doctors are the first point of contact for most Australians when they are seeking health care or advice. By supporting family doctors the AMA works to ensure that patients get a better deal from governments and the health system.

Some of the AMA’s recent campaigns in supporting family doctors include:

  • Raising the profile of mental health and the role that family doctors play in providing mental health care
  • Advocating for GP inclusion in Medicare Locals’ governance and board structures
  • Securing more funding for after-hours care and practice nurses
  • Increasing the number of medicines covered by the streamlined PBS authority prescription process
  • Supporting International Medical Graduates (IMGs) in their transition to working in Australia
  • Stopping a diabetes care funding model that could have paved the way for fundholding, and in its place establishing a pilot program for diabetes care.
  • MBS funding for GP referred MRI
  • Securing collaborative care arrangements that require midwives and nurse practitioners to establish collaborative arrangements with a medical practitioner in order for their services to attract an MBS or PBS benefit
  • Protecting family doctors from unnecessary Medicare Audits and ensuring patient privacy by forcing changes to the Health Insurance Amendment (Compliance) Act 2011. The changes ensure that patient clinical information is not put in the hands of government administrative officers.
  • A significant expansion in training places for GPs and specialists, and increased support to GP trainers
  • Ensuring family doctors continue to be the backbone of Australia’s National Immunisation Program
  • Working to reduce red tape wherever possible, including working to have many government forms streamlined.

View the campaigns here

AMA Gaps Poster

The AMA has long campaigned for better indexation of Medicare schedule fees.

Since 1999, we have included a fee gaps chart in the AMA Fees List to show the ever-widening gap between the indexation of Medicare schedule fees and the indices for CPI, average weekly earnings and AMA fees.

Read more here

Audio visual

21 November 2011:
Dr Hambleton
said that halving GP red tape would free up more than 7 million new GP consultations a year. He says that four and a half hours can be saved per GP per week.

30 September 2011:
Dr Hambleton
says cuts to the Better Access program may decrease access to mental health services. The Government has cut $400 million from the rebate for patients to see their GP under the Better Access program.

21 September 2011:
Dr Hambleton
is interviewed by WIN News during a meeting with local GPs in Launceston, Tasmania. The GPs discuss their concerns with Dr Hambleton over the Federal Government's Medicare Locals. Dr Hambleton says doctors don't understand how the new system works.

16 September 2011:
Dr Hambleton
responds to media reports that pseudonyms will be given to celebrities, politicians and victims of domestic violence who wish to protect their identity in the Federal Government's new electronic health database.

19 July 2011:
Dr Hambleton talks to Red Symons about AMA Family Doctor Week.

14 July 2011:
AMA Family Doctor Week 2011 profiles
Dr Sam Goodwin - Your family doctor serving rural and Indigenous communities
Dr Caroline Luke - Your family doctor, a teacher and mentor
Dr Richard Kidd - Your family doctor in times of crisis

23 May 2011:
Dr Steve Hambleton discusses his plans for the AMA as President-elect.

23 March 2011:
Dr Andrew Pesce
on Medicare Locals

4 February 2011:
Dr Steve Hambleton
and Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon discuss the Government's latest round of consultations on GP Super Clinics

15 November 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce
on nurse practitioners

18 October 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce
on Medicare rebates for GP consultations

13 August 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce
joins Dr Emil Djakic from the Australian General Practice Network to discuss GP Super Clinics.

11 August 2010:
Dr Steve Hambleton
on GP Super clinics

3 August 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce
on GP Super clinics

22 July 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce on COAG

9 December 2009:
Dr Andrew Pesce
on Climate change, COAG

7 December 2009:
Dr Andrew Pesce
on health reform delay

16 September 2009:
Dr Andrew Pesce speaks as AMA releases Priority Health Investment Plan

Media releases

12 January 2012:
Practical plan needed to get doctors to live and work in rural Australia

24 November 2011:
Genuine consultation not lip service with GPs

21 November 2011
Halving GP red tape would free up more than 7 million new GP consultations a year

18 November 2011
AMA welcomes investment in general practice

7 November 2011:
Senate mental health Inquiry outcome reflects huge workload and misinformation

31 October 2011:
Mental health services harder to access from tomorrow

13 October 2011:
Medicare patient rebates remain inadequate

12 October 2011:
GP Super Clinics not so super - need for a proper audit

12 October 2011:
AMA delivers mental health petition to the Government

29 September 2011:
AMA calls for moratorium on cuts to GP mental health services

12 September 2011:

Medical advice missing from e-health records plan

25 August 2011:
AMA welcomes GP-coordinated care for veterans with chronic and complex diseases

9 August 2011:
Productivity commission recognises the importance of medical care access for older Australians

22 July 2011:
AMA launches national survey to target red tape in general practice
Family doctors need support to provide vital after hours care to local communities

21 July 2011:
Family doctors - Local heroes in natural disasters and crises

20 July 2011:
Family doctors say Budget cuts seriously disadvantage mental health patients

19 July 2011:
More support needed to train the next generation of family doctors

18 July 2011:
AMA Family Doctor Week: Medicare Locals need leadership of local family doctors
AMA showcases the work of family doctors

17 July 2011:
Your Family Doctor: Excellence in Health Care

7 July 2011:
AMA launches petition to urge Government to restore funding for GP mental health services

29 June 2011:
New telehealth arrangements welcome but need adjustment to maximise benefits to patients

22 June 2011:
GP groups to intensify campaign for restoration of Medicare patient rebates for GP mental health services

8 June 2011:
Medicare Locals - get them right the first time

28 May 2011:
Dr Steve Hambleton formally takes over as Federal AMA President

26 May 2011:
GP groups call for reinvestment into successful mental health program - United General Practice Australia

24 March 2011:
Medicare Locals - AMA proposes a better model

18 March 2011:
AMA opposes Medicare Locals

11 March 2011:
Budget cuts are not health reform

3 March 2011:
GP groups united on primary care reform

22 February 2011:
Medicare Locals: Guideline number one - GPs must remain the coordinators of care

11 February 2011:
PM’s COAG health deal gets health reform back on track

9 February 2011:
GP Super Clinics – another example of failing to consult with the medical profession

27 January 2011:
Too little focus on medical care for the elderly in Productivity Commission's Aged Care draft report

1 December 2010:
Sensible decision on after-hours GP care

19 November 2010:
AMA submission on Medicare Locals Discussion Paper

12 November 2010:
Positive move by Minister on care for people with diabetes

11 November 2010:
Minister must urgently clarify regulations for collaborative care

5 November 2010:
Doctors support collaborative care, not fragmented care

15 October 2010:
Medicare patient rebates fail to keep pace with cost of delivering quality care

28 September 2010:
AMA welcomes Medical Board decision to waive late fees for National Registration

15 September 2010:
Health Minister meets GP groups

8 September 2010:
New Government must move forward on health reform

10 August 2010:
AMA calls for proper indexation of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and no further cuts to medicare rebates

1 August 2010:
More aged care beds welcome, but medical care for older Australians ignored

29 July 2010:
Collaborative arrangements will provide better care for patients

23 July 2010:
Patients want more time with their family doctors

22 July 2010:
Practice Nurse policy needed constructive consultation to be fully effective - AMA survey

20 July 2010:
ALP committment to PBS 'Authority prescription' changes a step in the right direction

20 July 2010:
Family doctors - Highly trained, highly skilled

20 July 2010:
Choice of family doctor - preserving and protecting the doctor-patient relationship

19 July 2010:
AMA launches patient petition to urge major parties to support family doctors

19 July 2010:
Medicare needs 'real action' to 'move forward' to better serve patient needs

17 July 2010:
Federal Election 2010 - Health must be the top priority

11 July 2010:
Doctors overwhelmingly reject Goverment's plan for care for patients with diabetes - AMA survey

1 July 2010:
Family doctors remain the backbone of the Australian health system - but under pressure

24 June 2010:
Supporting family doctors - AMA listening tour

31 May 2010:
More support needed for doctors working in aged care

4 May 2010:
Community Pharmacy agreement: Government puts patients at risk

29 April 2010:
Caring for patients with chronic and complex needs: the AMA proposes a better way

28 April 2010:
Australians want a health system that is built on the family doctor - AMA survey

21 April 2010:
Productivity Commission Inquiry incomplete without examination of medical care for the elderly

31 March 2010:
GP groups disappointed with lack of consultation over policy for patients with diabetes

31 March 2010:
Policy on the run will disadvantage patients

3 March 2010:
Major health reform must be given a chance to deliver

26 February 2010:
Medical board responds to AMA call for recognition of vocationally registered GPs as 'Specialist GPs'

23 February 2010:
General Practice Pharmacies - a positive health reform for patients

4 February 2010:
'Minor Ailments' not always minor

7 December 2009:
Health reform too important for further delays

18 November 2009:
GP groups unite on collaborative care

5 November 2009:
AMA welcomes amendment to the Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009

7 October 2009:
Government responding to AMA and community concerns about primary care reforms

7 October 2009:
Medicare Rebate cuts bring more (arthritic) pain to elderly Australians

16 September 2009:
AMA releases Priority Health Investment Plan

16 September 2009:
Calling all doctors - have your say on health reform

1 September 2009:
Preventative Health Taskforce Report: AMA supports national strategic approach to prevention

31 August 2009:
Draft national primary health care strategy: GP role must not be watered down

28 August 2009:
Extend cash incentives to nurses who want to work in general practice

13 August 2009:
'Supermarket Medicine' Clinics a threat to quality and safety in health care

27 July 2009:

AMA welcomes NHHRC final report

Media stories

Here are a selection of media stories about general practice.

The Australian

Herald Sun (Victoria)

The Age (Victoria)

Sunday Age (Victoria)

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW)

The Sunday Telegraph (NSW)

Medical press

Other people's opinions

The Hon Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health
The Hon Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister

Dr Bill Coote, former AMA Secretary General (1992-98)

Diabetes Council of Australia

Dr Leon Massage


20 July 2011:
Dr Steve Hambleton
, Speech to the National Press Club

23 May 2011:
Dr Steve Hambleton
, Life Matters, ABC Radio National - 2011/2012 Federal Budget; Better Access program for mental health

24 March 2011:
Dr Andrew Pesce, Speech at Breathing New Life into General Practice Conference

16 February 2011:
Dr Andrew Pesce, ABC News 24, COAG Health Deal

11 February 2011:
Dr Andrew Pesce, Media Doorstop – COAG Health Deal

30 November 2010:
Dr Steve Hambleton, Speech at E-health Conference

24 August 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce
, Speech to CHA National Conference

17 August 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce, Keynote Opening Address, AFR National Health Conference

6 August 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce
, AMA NSW House, Sydney

5 August 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce, with Alex Sloan, ABC Radio 666 Canberra

2 August 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce, with David Speers, SKY News

21 July 2010:
Dr Andrew Pesce, Speech to the National Press Club

9 December 2009:
Dr Andrew Pesce, on climate change, COAG

30 November 2009:
Dr Andrew Pesce, Practical Immediate Health Reform - AMA President addresses the Congress on National Health Reform, Melbourne

16 September 2009:
Dr Andrew Pesce, Canberra Hospital on AMA Priority Investment Plan for Australia’s Health System, GP Super Clinics, NSW Health Minister