Background: In 2001 the Australian government introduced financial incentives to encourage general practitioners to improve their care of people with diabetes. This article examines the extent to which GPs are implementing the diabetes 'cycle of care' for patients, and the barriers and enablers to its uptake.
Methods: Semistructured interviews with key informants within purposefully selected general practices in one division of general practice in southeast Melbourne, Victoria.
Results: General practitioners and practices provide 'cycles of care' for their diabetic patients in a range of ways. A systematic approach to diabetes appears more important than government incentives.
Discussion: There are numerous barriers to the uptake of government incentives for improved diabetes management, most of which relate to difficulties in making changes to current practice and adopting a systematic approach to the implementation of new initiatives. General practitioners and general practices need a broader support strategy than just government financial incentives if systematic chronic disease management is to be more widely adopted.