Media release

Doctors, patients need support not outsourcing

There are better ways to free up doctors' time than outsourcing medical diagnosis and treatment to pharmacists.

AMA Queensland is calling on governments to look at innovative new ways to reduce pressures on GPs and hospital doctors while protecting patient safety.

The AMA Queensland Budget Submission 2024-25 calls for research to analyse doctors’ scope of practice to identify tasks that could be safely undertaken by other healthcare workers and allow doctors to spend maximal time working at the top of their scope.

“GPs and other specialists are spending too much of their time caught up in administrative tasks like patient subsidy forms, Centrelink forms and insurance requests that could be safely done by other staff,” AMA Queensland President Dr Maria Boulton said.

“We are calling on the state government to fund a joint Queensland Health-AMA Queensland PhD research project analysing doctors’ scope of practice, including a detailed job analysis.

“This would identify tasks currently undertaken by doctors that could be efficiently performed by other workers without risking patient safety.

“The Queensland Government’s current policies are all about allowing pharmacists to prescribe and sell medications without any medical oversight, putting convenience over care.

“What we really need is to find ways to relieve pressure on doctors by developing true collaborative evidence-based models of care.

“There are many administrative tasks that could be safely and efficiently completed by other workers, freeing doctors up to spend more time with their patients.

“For example, Queensland Health could provide funding for increased use of allied health practitioners within general practice including mental health nurses, social workers and psychologists to ensure patients have ready access to their services.”

The AMA Queensland Budget Submission 2024-25 can be read here.

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