Page 2157 - Week 07 - Thursday, 29 June 2023

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(2) further notes that:

(a) transparent and centralised sources of information can help people identify and access services that are affordable and appropriate for their needs;

(b) a number of online resources provide centralised and transparent information to healthcare consumers:

(i) Cleanbill is a free consumer directory of general practice clinics and includes information such as price, comparison to average cost in the area, clinic billing practices, and whether clinics are taking new patients;

(ii) Health Direct includes a service finding feature for GPs and other health services, billing practice and practitioner names; and

(iii) Hot Doc includes information on clinic billing practices, practitioner names, specialties and languages spoken, and includes an online booking feature; and

(c) increasing the use of platforms that provide transparent and centralised information could improve access to healthcare for people in the ACT, particularly vulnerable cohorts, by making it easier for people to find services that fit their needs; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to:

(a) continue working with the Federal Government to improve access to bulk billing general practice services in the ACT;

(b) explore the value of services, including but not limited to Health Direct, Cleanbill and Hot Doc, that provide varying degrees of centralised and transparent information about healthcare services, including by raising these services with health ministers from other states and territories;

(c) consider ways to:

(i) promote the use of these services;

(ii) increase healthcare consumer use of these services; and

(iii) increase general practice clinic participation in these services; and

(d) report back to the Assembly by the last sitting week in February¬†2024.

General practitioners, or GPs, are regularly the first point of contact that people have with the healthcare system. You may connect with a GP for any number of reasons, such as seeking a referral to a specialist, for an infection, for an updated pharmacy script, or seeking help with your mental health.

GPs are generally highly trusted roles in our society and fill an important coordination role with other health services for people. They are the most used health service by Australians; therefore, general practice is a critical component of our primary health care system. As said by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, timely access to health care professionals and services when a person needs it is critical to preventing and managing health conditions.

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