AMA scope of practice submission takes a stronger stand

The AMA’s submission takes a stronger stance against key issues in the scope of practice review, however undertakes to work constructively ahead of the release of the draft final report later this year.

The AMA submission incorporated feedback provided by members through survey responses. The AMA’s latest submission to the scope of practice review cautions against the view that scope of practice is simply a barrier to overcome, while suggesting the review is also largely silent on how to improve collaboration between health professionals.

The review is couched in terms of primary care but will likely set the framework for scope of practice across all of medicine.

The AMA submission, which responds to Scope of Practice Review Issues Paper 2, highlights the lack of attention given to general practice by the review, and counterproductive recommendations to cash out core funding programs for general practice.

Key points raised by the AMA’s submission include:

  • the need for broader workforce planning to address issues of access, and specifically an Independent Health Workforce Planning and Analysis Agency (IHWPAA)
  • increasing training in primary care will require support and resources, which are already stretched thin in many areas
  • the reviewers need to acknowledge the importance of setting in determining the scope
  • collaborative models supported by proper accreditation and robust clinical governance support working to full breadth of scope, not only individual training and experience
  • Australia needs increased funding for primary care, not redistribution of existing funding
  • direct referrals from allied health professionals to non-GP specialists come with significant risks
  • collaboration and the role of general practice must be emphasised in the final report.


Although the submission is strong in rejecting many of the more radical proposals, there are sections that could address many of the current issues related to scope of practice where state and territory health ministers make determinations on scope regardless of the advice provided by independent, evidence-based bodies like the TGA.

The AMA continues to consult with the review team and will work constructively ahead of the release of the draft final report later this year.


Read the AMA’s submission


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