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NZMA welcomes report on GP compliance costs

FROM: Philip Rushmer, Chairman NZMA General Practitioner Council

DATE: 14 March, 2001

SUBJECT: NZMA welcomes report on GP compliance costs

The New Zealand Medical Association welcomes the statement from Health Minister Annette King that compliance costs for GPs should be reduced and minimised.

Mrs King today released the report of the General Practice Test Panel on Compliance Costs, which includes recommendations for reducing the burden on GPs. The previous Government set up the Test Panel at the urging of the NZMA.

The NZMA welcomes the report and acknowledges the work done by the Test Panel members.

"GPs have long expressed their frustration with the huge amount of administrative work they are required to carry out by government agencies," said Dr Philip Rushmer, who chairs the NZMA's General Practitioner Council. "This administrative load costs them in terms of money, time, and stress. They face a mountain of paperwork, with increasingly complex information requirements, which cuts into the time they can spend with their patients."

The report's recommendations include simplifying and streamlining requirements for information, and reducing requirements for unnecessary or duplicated information. It includes recommendations for many government agencies including Pharmac, ACC, HBL and the Ministry of Health.

"We urge the Government and its agencies to implement the recommendations of the report, which will make a practical difference to the day-to-day work of GPs in our communities. We will be keeping a watchful eye on government agencies to ensure they carry out the proposals. "Implementation of the report would also be good news for patients, as doctors will have more time to spend with them if they spend less time filling in forms and doing other paperwork.

"GPs are not paid by the Government agencies for many of the administrative requirements, and they have no choice but to reflect the work in the fees they charge. Reducing GPs' administrative burden, and therefore their costs, will help ensure their fees remain accessible to patients. We are glad Mrs King acknowledged this fact.

"We are also pleased the Government intends that future proposals are examined before being introduced in order to minimise compliance costs," Dr Rushmer concluded. The GP Council already works with a number of government agencies and gives feedback about new regulations and requirements.

The Test Panel was chaired by Rotorua GP Dr Tricia Briscoe, an NZMA Board member, and included two members of the General Practitioner Council, Drs Tim Baily Gibson and Branko Sijnja.


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