Doctor’s orders: agencies asked to ‘keep it simple’

Standard Business Reporting cut red tape for businesses, now medical practitioners are asking benefits agencies to offer the same in their medical forms. The time GPs spend on bureaucracy could instead be spent providing essential medical care, and agencies could get a boost in the efficiency of their programs.

The Australian Medical Association is asking government agencies to rethink the complexity of the forms they require to determine patient entitlements, and convert forms to digital formats.

Accuracy is important, AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis says, but the demands have become a costly “red tape headache” for doctors:

“We understand that organisations depend heavily upon the accurate completion of medical forms to determine patient entitlements. Unfortunately, many organisations fail to appreciate the real time implications for doctors having to complete these forms. Doctors prefer spending time on patient care, not bureaucracy. Inefficiencies and excessive red tape can become a heavy burden on doctors, diverting their time away from providing essential medical care for patients.”

The AMA and its Victorian branch have produced a list of 10-standard guide for agencies, such as Centrelink, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and the state and territory WorkCover authorities. Parnis says they can help doctors help agencies:

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.