Alarming new research showing half of all Australians have at least one chronic disease highlights the stupidity of the Abbott Government’s $1.3 billion cuts to primary care.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report on Chronic Disease and Comorbidities also reveals one-in-five Australians have at least two of the most common eight chronic diseases including diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and mental health conditions.
The report vindicates the decision to make a greater focus on chronic disease care a key part of Labor’s policy development, as outlined in my speech to the Future of General Practice Conference earlier this year.
In that speech I outlined how Medicare needs to adapt to provide comprehensive care that rewards GPs to manage complex cases of chronic illness.
This is in stark contrast to the Abbott Government which has spent the past two years attacking primary health care through its GP Tax.
If the Abbott Government was serious about tackling chronic disease it would immediately end its four year freeze on Medicare rebates for GPs and instead focus on genuine reforms to improve primary care.