General practitioners play an integral role in promoting and facilitating advance care planning. They are able to support patients through the planning process, discuss problematic issues and provide information on the patient's health, prognosis and future treatment options.

The often long-term relationship between the general practitioner and the patient means advance care planning can begin at an opportune, early time.

Advance care planning can be introduced in general practice through:

  • usual assessments and care planning such as the 75+ Health Assessment and Chronic Disease Management planning
  • routine consultations with a patient who has a chronic illness, is at risk of losing capacity, is in an aged care facility, has just received a significant diagnosis etc.
  • follow-up consultations after a hospital admission

Starting the conversation

General practitioners play an important role in encouraging patients to engage in advance care planning.

Learn more about starting the conversation.

Responsibilities of general practitioners

General practitioners have unique responsibilities when it comes to advance care planning.

Learn more about the responsibilities of general practitioners.


Online Courses - Advance Care Planning Australia Learning

Our online learning website offers an advance care planning education module specifically for primary care settings. Visit training and education to find out more.

The Advance Project

The Advance Project is a training package designed to support Australian general practices implement a team-based approach to initiating advance care planning and palliative care into everyday clinical practice.

Distinct training activities are designed for:

  • general practitioners
  • nurses working in general practice
  • general practice managers

Visit The Advance Project to find out more.

Medicare Benefits Schedule Items

There are no dedicated Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Items for advance care planning. General practitioners must ensure that the requirements for the services are met. These requirements are set out in the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Read guidance for the use of Medicare Benefits Schedule Items for advance care planning.

Printable guides for practices

For more printable guides, see our range of support materials available to print or download.

See also

Last updated: March 2024