The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) welcomed the $392 million e-health plan of a Labor government.

RACGP President Dr. Chris Mitchell described as exciting and innovative the proposed investment in online consultations and videoconferencing between GPs and patients under the e-health system.

With around 115 million GP consultations taking place annually and computers now being used by 98 percent of GPs for clinical purposes, general practice is in an ideal position to be at the forefront of e-health, quoted Mitchell as saying.

Mitchell also said the plan will be very beneficial to rural GPs amid a shortage in workforce in their areas. Online, video and tele-medicine can save time for patients and GPs while providing high-quality care to local communities, according to Mitchell.

If re-elected, the Labor party promises nearly $57 million in incentives to GPs and specialists who deliver online services plus $35 million in training and supervision for health professionals using online technologies.

Investment in e-health is one of 13 healthcare reforms being sought by the RACGP from the government. The others are recognition and reward for high quality general practice, focus on community healthcare, reduced red tape, investment in GP infrastructure, support for teamwork, introduction of preventive health items, improved access to diagnostic tools, funding for GP research, additional blended payments for people with chronic and complex care needs, support for GP education and training, support for practices in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and international medical graduates.