MBS review deputy-chair responds to criticism from Australian Doctor

24 Jan 2019

MBS Review Taskforce deputy chair, Dr Steve Hambleton, has responded to criticism of the recommended changes to general practice funding from Australian Doctor, a medical publication for Australian GPs. In a letter to Australian Doctor, Dr Hambleton defended the proposed reforms as necessary to support best practice. Dr Hambleton is a former President of the AMA and the senior GP on the MBS Review Taskforce.

Dr Hambleton states that the current model of funding is not providing adequate funding to GPs, nor is it providing the best care for all patients.

“[A]s GPs we need to stop thinking episodically and start to think longitudinally because that is what produces the best health outcomes for patients.

"The funding system must align with and support the best practice model of care. This will underpin the needed cultural shift in GP practices — and better align good quality care with a sensible and relevant billing system.”

In reference to the most controversial recommendation, introducing a 40-minute minimum on GP management plans (Item 721), Dr Hambleton stated that public consultation will contribute to the final decision.

The full General Practice and Primary Care Clinical Committee report is available here.

The AMA will submit a response to all recommendations in the report. Visit the AMA's dedicated MBS Review webpage for more information.