AB619 THE LEADING EDGE
Universally the primary drivers of change are demands of an evolving market, the emergence of new technologies, swings in the economic cycle, the rapid movement to a global economy, dramatic increases in the number and quality of new competitors, the rise of consumerism and a shift in the behaviours of existing competitors. For general practice, this has meant the need for greater sharing of information, particularly between general practice and governments; the development of networks across the entire health system; investment in shared values; and an exploration of, and at times challenge of, the assumptions that are held by general practice leaders. Through an examination of an innovative GP based elective surgery management program (Getting Patients Treated) this paper considers the shifting focus of funding programs based on outcomes and quality rather than subsidising health outputs. This shift has lead do the development of clinical and corporate governance as a requisite for defining the place for GP leadership within health structures and has enhanced quality through increased communication; integration of resources and sharing of better practice ideas. The opportunity to work within the health care system on elective surgery management has given rise to the development of a depth and quality of GP leaders who can manage changes across organizational systems. This investment in general practice must be a priority for the future if the future is to place primary care at the centre of patient care.