GPs to face $25 hike to fund national doctors’ health program

The Medical Board of Australia released a consultation paper last week seeking feedback on the health ministers’ proposal, which would involve the expansion of the Victorian Doctors Health Program (VDHP) nationally or as individual state and territory based services.

The program was funded from 2001 through fees collected by the Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria but does not have a funding source beyond June 2013, while comparative doctors’ health programs around Australia have been variously funded through state boards and AMA branches.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said while the association supported programs to help practitioners access “early, professional advice”, it was unclear why such programs couldn’t be funded within the current fee structure.

RACGP president Professor Claire Jackson said the college was concerned about the “exponentially” increasing costs of registration on GPs but &ldquo