Cutting red tape burden still tops GP priority list
IN what is shaping up to be a watershed year for general practice, Medical Observer’s national GP survey revealed that 56% of 151 respondents believe the Government’s single biggest health priority should be cutting GP red tape.
Conducted by Cegedim Strategic Data, the poll revealed red tape ranked above the high-priority concerns of rebuilding flood-damaged health infrastructure (22%) and delivery of Medicare Locals (17%).
Dr Brian Morton, chair of the AMA’s Council of General Practice, said red tape was not only a burden for GPs, it was an insult.
“The red tape goes to a degree of mistrust of our professionalism,” he told MO. “They need to look at how we actually do things in general practice and what outcomes we want.”
At least one layer of red tape could be cut quickly by using standardised software templates for letters and referrals between medical professionals, he said.
GPs, meanwhile, had little optimism for the Federal Government’s health reform plans.
While 90% said general practice and primary care services had not improved since Labor took power in 2007, 92% did not expect to fare any better in 2011 under the minority Gillard Government.
NSW GP Dr Geoffrey Sparkes said concerns about the location and high level of support given to super clinics were hurting practitioner sentiment.
“The Federal Health Minister won’t even listen. We’re being told how to do it from up high, often by… bureaucrats who excel in wasting money.”