Enrolment may strengthen the link between patients and their preferred primary care providers and needs to support flexible provision of high quality care
In the 2019–20 federal budget, $448 million was allocated to introduce a system of voluntary general practice enrolment for Indigenous people over 50 years of age and all Australians over 70 years of age from July 2020.1 Enrolment, also known as nomination or empanelment, allows patients to register with a specified general practitioner at their preferred general practice. At the end of June 2020, the federal government announced that the introduction of voluntary general practice enrolment would be delayed and that models to support universal enrolment would be explored as part of the development of a 10‐year primary health care plan.2 The exploration of population‐wide enrolment was prompted by Australia’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) response, most notably the introduction of Medicare‐funded telehealth (both telephone and video consultations) — a long‐advocated reform currently available until 30 June 2021. In this article, we outline Australian and international experience with enrolment and suggest ways for Australia to introduce a system that benefits patients, health system funders and providers of comprehensive holistic general practice care.
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