Govt plan to boost PSR power causes division in the ranks

The government has accepted all seven recommendations arising from last year’s Senate inquiry into the PSR, including that it be given new powers to take action against corporate practices whose contractual arrangements with GPs have so far been beyond its purview.

MDA National president Associate Professor Julian Rait said the move would “reinforce the clinical independence of practitioners” by providing protection against corporate “coercion”.

“It means for the first time the owners of practices have to be cognisant of their responsibilities to the taxpayer as well,” Professor Rait said.

Former PSR director Dr Tony Webber said the current burden on GPs to repay 100% of inappropriately claimed MBS fees, even if a percentage of those fees went to a contracting practice, should also be lifted.

“Making the practice accountable for the amount of fees it received would be a fair recovery of money