Slashing red tape would allow Australia's General Practitioners to spend more time caring for patients, AMA Federal President, Dr Andrew Pesce, said today.
Dr Pesce said GPs were spending up to a quarter of their working hours completing paperwork and dealing with bureaucracy.
"For every hour a GP spends doing paperwork, around four patients miss out on seeing a doctor," he said.
"There are a number of simple measures Government could implement which would free up GPs to spend more time with patients.
"These include scrapping the requirement for GPs to seek approval from Medicare Australia every time they need to prescribe certain drugs under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for a patient."
Since 2007, doctors have been permitted to prescribe 200 PBS listed Authority medications without approval from Medicare Australia. There has been no appreciable change in prescribing trends for these medicines.
"This demonstrates that GPs are adhering to PBS prescribing requirements. Requiring GPs to ring up for prescribing approval numbers is a waste of time for doctors, patients and Government officials," Dr Pesce said.
Dr Pesce also called for a reduction in the amount of paperwork GPs needed to complete to comply with a range of programs.
"GPs are frustrated that Governments have ignored successive reports recommending that GP red tape should be slashed. It is now time to get on with this task and stop wasting time that GPs could be spending with patients," he said.