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25 Nov 2013

AMA Submission to the National Commission of Audit

The AMA has sent a very clear message to the Federal Government’s recently-convened National Commission of Audit to cut the red tape in medical practice.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that red tape is strangling medical practice and creating unnecessary and costly inefficiencies in health service delivery.

“Doctors cannot see as many patients as they could because of the time needed to deal with mountains of paperwork or waiting on the phone for authority prescription approvals,” Dr Hambleton said.

“This is blocking patient access to much-needed medical care and advice.  The solution is simple: free up doctors’ time so they can do what they do best – care for patients.”

Dr Hambleton said that the AMA submission to the National Commission of Audit focuses on simplifying the excessive regulatory and administrative burden placed on medical practitioners and puts forward a number of proposals for cutting red tape in medical practice.

“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.

“AMA research shows that a large number of GPs spend up to nine hours or more each week meeting their red tape obligations.  Every hour a GP spends doing paperwork equates to around four patients who are denied access to their doctor.

“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 is at


25 November 2013


CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                          Kirsty Waterford                  02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

Published: 25 Nov 2013