$30 million to tackle doctors' red tape
The Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, has announced $30 million to help doctors reduce red tape in general practice by increasing the use of electronic patient records.
20 May 2003
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The Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced $30 million to help doctors reduce red tape in general practice by increasing the use of electronic patient records.
She said the payment would be made by the Health Insurance Commission (HIC) to practices in late May 2003 with practices receiving an average payment of $6800.
The announcement follows the release of findings by the Productivity Commission Review of GP Administrative and Compliance Costs, which recommended that the Government accelerate the use of information technology by GPs.
Senator Patterson said: "Moving to electronic patient records can be a time consuming and an intensive process and I want to try and ensure that doctors spend as much time with their patients as possible.
"This funding will make it easier for GPs to record vital patient information in an electronic format while reducing paperwork and ensuring all the information is still protected by strong privacy protocols.
"It means that doctors can easily access up-to-date information about their patients' health status and history and will help identify which patients would benefit from health prevention activities and make follow-up easier."
"The Government has already spent $400 million on information technology initiatives and programs in general practice and this extra funding forms part of a concerted effort to respond to the findings of the Productivity Commission's report.
The $30 million will be paid from within the existing Practice Incentive Program (PIP).
Senator Patterson said: "I am pleased that GP groups have indicated their willingness to work together with the Government to tackle red tape. Streamlining the PIP and other paperwork, together with this funding for electronic record keeping, will support doctors to provide quality health care for patients."
Senator Patterson is committed to addressing the issue of administrative costs for doctors associated with Government programs.
She is working with doctors' groups to reduce tape and improve care for patients with chronic diseases.
Media inquiries, contact Randal Markey, Media Adviser, Senator Patterson's office, 02 6277 7220.