The department and state-funded services need to engage with general practice during: 

  • policy development 
  • program design and implementation 
  • legislative or regulatory change 
  • information dissemination.
  • clinical pathway development

Whether you engage will depend on the relevance of the work to the day-to-day business of general practice and the clinician-patient relationship. 

Deciding whether to engage

Here are some questions that you can ask to decide whether you should engage general practice. 

If you answer yes to any of these, you should consider engaging with general practice. 

  • Is the policy, program or legislative change likely to impact the management of patients in general practice settings?
  • Would people working in general practice settings expect to be informed about the changes? 
  • Would engaging with general practice give you useful input into the changes?

Examples

A change in policy about the definition of ‘a significant concern for the welfare of a child in relation to Child FIRST services – this directly relates to services for children in primary care settings.

A new policy that enshrines a code of practice for community-based counselling and support groups for women – this may not directly relate to primary care, but practitioners will want to know how and when they can refer to these services.

A new program that provides scholarships for medical students to pursue a career in medical practice in rural Victoria – workforce agencies that support general practice recruitment and retention will expect to be informed, and may wish to assist in the co-design of this program.

A new program that assists the recruitment and training of allied health providers in state-funded services – may not be sufficiently relevant to general practice to warrant engagement. 

A change to regulations in relation to the storage of schedule 8 drugs – this is directly relevant to general practice, and GPs may be able to provide input. 

A change to the Disability Act that affects the rights of people living in state-funded residential care – may not be sufficiently relevant to general practice to warrant engagement.

Information about new tools for screening and referral of moderate mental illness – this is directly relevant to clinician-patient relations. 

Information about how to implement national standards for mental health services in the public sector – none directly relevant to general practice. 

Input into a Health Pathway. HealthPathways are the central source of information for GPs and other primary health care providers in the region in which they work. PHNs coordinate the development of clinical pathways for general practice and are continuously improving this system.

Clarifying your purpose

If you decide to engage with general practice, you need to clarify the purpose of the engagement. 

For example, your purpose may be to:

Your purpose could be one of these, a combination of these, or something else.