GPs demand specialist letters

GPs are in almost universal agreement that specialists should be compelled to send reports to referring doctors, as is the case with pathology and imaging services funded under Medicare, a survey suggests.

A total of 96% of readers who responded to an Australian Doctor online poll agreed that it should be mandatory for specialists to send GPs reports - some 85%"strongly agreed" and a further 11% "agreed".

The results, based on 420 responses, followed claims from a leading GP academic that reform of private specialists had been ignored over the past five years of health reform, despite their crucial role in shared care — particularly for patients with complex and chronic needs.

Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, Tim Usherwood, professor of general practice at the University