Primary Health

Calls for National Social Prescribing Scheme

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) and Mental Health Australia are urging the government to implement a national social prescribing scheme to tackle Australia’s mental health and wellbeing crisis.

Mental ill health is a growing problem in Australia and has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2017, GPs across Australia have rated mental health as the most common presentation they see as part of the RACGP’s annual Health of the Nation survey. Approximately 20% of patients consult their GP for what are primarily social problems.

GP Health of The Nation

As Australia’s largest professional general practice organisation, the RACGP represents more than 43,000 members, including more than 24,000 Fellows who have completed specialist training (or its equivalent). These are the frontline GPs who treat almost 22 million patients across the country every year.

Each year the runs a survey across Australian Doctors. This year’s report reflects the experience of more than 1300 RACGP Fellows from across Australia. Despite this and other achievements, the share of total government healthcare spend for primary care is in decline.

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