GP Access service available to Medibank residents of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Cairns, assisting access to GPs at no extra cost
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
GP Access, the new scheme which assists access to doctors for Medibank members, is now available to residents of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Cairns. Through the pilot, members will benefit from a number of initiatives which enable healthcare access with no additional out-of-pocket cost to the member.
The system aims to better guide Medibank members through the existing healthcare system, facilitating access to:
• Same-day appointments – when members call one of the participating GP clinics before 10am weekdays they are guaranteed an appointment for that day. If members call later, the clinic will do their best to fit them in.
• Fee-free consultations – members who show their Medibank card at a participating clinic or who use the after-hours GP will pay no out-of-pocket costs for the consultation.
• After-hours GP home-visits – members in Brisbane metro areas can access an after-hours home GP visit within three hours.
• A range of one-off health assessments available to people at different life stages with no out of pocket costs.
GP Access was launched in late 2013 to six pilot clinics in Queensland, so far it has proven to be a great success with more than 4,500 Medibank members participating. The pilot has now expanded to cover more locations across Queensland and new independent clinics.
GP Access is about supporting GPs as the key primary care provider and better promoting primary care as an important and effective part of the health system. Dr Ian Boyd, Medibank’s National Medical Director, explains further:
“GPs underpin our health system, being the entry point for most people into the healthcare environment. They play a key role in a patient’s health journey and are involved in all stages of care, from prevention to treatment and rehabilitation. A visit to the GP that identifies risk factors or a medical condition in the early stages can have a huge impact on preventing further illness.
“Importantly, the service is not about displacing other patients, or creating a two-tier system. Medibank members are not prioritised over other patients and non-Medibank patients will never be cancelled in order for a member to be seen. Rather, it enables GPs to offer more services and encourages people to see a GP when they have health concerns.”
Through GP access, the GP has complete ownership of the clinical component of the GP/patient relationship. Medibank has no involvement in the clinical interface.
Medibank is constantly looking to develop new health services and business models to increase access to medical services, reduce costs and drive better patient outcomes. The organisation is currently working with medical providers on a growing range of innovative initiatives, including an integrated care pilot for people with complex health needs and a new healthcare platform called Anywhere Healthcare, which assists people in regional areas to access medical specialists.