GPs do not need more bureaucracy – 26 September 2011

“Most General Practitioners do not believe Medicare Locals will be of any value,” spokesman for the Australian Doctors’ Fund, Dr Aniello Iannuzzi, said in Coonabarabran, NSW today.

Dr Iannuzzi said, “Australian GPs are coping very well with the challenges of primary healthcare, seeing a record number of patients, including many with multiple conditions.”

“Most GPs share the views of VIC AMA President, Dr Harry Hemley, who described Medicare Locals as ‘a vehicle similar to the discredited UK style fund holding model, now abandoned as inefficient, ineffective, and inhumane – delivering poor patient outcomes.”

Dr Iannuzzi disagreed with the Minister Roxon’s statement in her media release of 19/9/2011, that ‘often our GPs find it difficult to link to the range and mix of local hospital, specialist and allied health services that patients need to be connected with.’

“GPs have their referral networks established. We do not need government funded brokers and agents to help us do what we have been doing effectively over generations,” Dr Iannuzzi said.

“It is not a connection problem, it is the availabilityof hospital beds and appropriate services for patients and in particular the increasing burdens of a rapidly growing health bureaucracy that is of major concern to general practitioners.”

“Medicare Locals in replacing divisions of general practice are marginalising GPs in primary healthcare, not supporting them.”

“Working GPs resent being told that our patients are lost in the system, that we are overwhelmed, and we need a new health bureaucracy in the form of Medicare Locals to save us.”

“Australian general practitioners are yet to see a convincing case for the introduction of Medicare Locals,” Dr Iannuzzi said.