Date published: 
19 May 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

On World Family Doctor Day, May 19, we are proud in Australia to recognise the critically important work undertaken by medical practitioners on the front line every day, as part of Australia’s health care system which is experiencing unprecedented challenges with the national emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our nation’s general practitioners are playing an essential role in protecting the health of our community during the pandemic, and especially those most at risk.

Medical professionals throughout the nation have swiftly changed their model of care to utilise telehealth for much of their work, combined with face to face consultations whenever necessary.

The uptake since the provision of safe telehealth MBS items since 13 March has seen over 10 million services delivered to over 5 million patients.

Services via telehealth have limited unnecessary exposure of patients and health professionals to COVID-19, wherever treatment can be safely delivered by phone or videoconferencing which also protects Australia’s primary health workers, our frontline in leading the fight against this pandemic.

It’s pleasing to see clinical professionals working in general practice have immediately risen to the challenge of ensuring testing for their patients who have symptoms, or who are at risk of COVID-19, with many working in GP-led respiratory clinics across the country. 

Our Government is pleased to work with the general practice sector in their proactive response in reaching out to their most vulnerable patients, including those in residential aged care, and those who are frail and homebound, providing essential comfort and continuity of health care at a time when the members of our community have been in self isolation. 

These hard-working medical professionals have continued to ensure that their patients receive attention for their acute health problems, ongoing management of their chronic health problems and mental health concerns, and essential preventive care measures.

On this important day, we are immensely proud to take this opportunity to praise medical practitioner colleagues internationally in countries all around the world, and the exceptional contributions they make to the health and wellbeing of the people of each nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministers: