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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Red tape is creating unnecessary and costly inefficiencies in health and it is patients who are ultimately suffering as a result, Australian Medical Association (WA) President Dr Richard Choong said today.
“As a GP I’m extremely frustrated with the amount of bureaucratic red-tape I have to deal with on a weekly basis. The burdens of red tape are fast becoming a major barrier between the doctor and the patient ,” Dr Choong said.
Dr Choong’s comments came as the Federal AMA called on the National Commission of Audit to focus on simplifying the excessive regulatory and administrative burden placed on medical practitioners and made a number of proposals for cutting red tape in medical practice.
“I don’t get to see as many patients as I could, because I have to allot more than nine hours a week to deal with paper work or wait on the phone to get authority prescription approvals.
“The time it takes to deal with red tape obligations equates to around 36 patients missing out on crucial medical care or advice every week.
“It’s infuriating that medical practitioners have an extra hurdle to deal with – one that is unnecessary and which ultimately blocks patient access to the services we provide,” Dr Choong said.
Federal AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton echoed Dr Choong’s statement, and said, “The solution is simple: free up doctors’ time so they can do what they do best – care for patients.”
“We have asked that the excessive regulatory and administrative burden placed on medical practitioners be simplified and relaxed,” Dr Hambleton said.
“Cutting the amount of regulation and red tape is critical for lowering overall health care costs, improving access to health services, and improving health outcomes.
“The majority of general practices and other medical specialist practices are small to medium businesses that must meet all the usual business red tape associated with taxation, insurance, payroll, and personnel management.
“They must also meet additional red tape requirements to enable their patients to get access to funding provided through the Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS) and other government funding.
“Among a range of initiatives, the AMA is recommending the abolition of the PBS authority system and the streamlining of Medicare arrangements that target chronic and complex disease.
“We have provided the Commission with a compelling case to cut red tape in health and allow greater efficiencies to flow through to patients,” Dr Hambleton said.
The AMA submission to the National Commission of Audit can be found here