GPs expected to set up e-health: Roxon

GPs are considering charging patients, billing Medicare or demanding yearly registration fees to work on electronic health records, while Health Minister Nicola Roxon has reiterated the government’s expectation that the profession would do the bulk of the work on the new system.

National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) clinical lead Dr Emil Djakic said in the absence of funding for GPs’ time, it could be the patient who footed the bill.

“[If the person benefiting from a service is the patient], the patient is going to be bearing the cost of it,” he said.

RACGP national e-health standing committee chair Dr John Bennett said GPs might try to recoup costs by billing longer Medicare consultations or through rebates for care plans, but direct incentives would be a much better option.

University of New South Wales professor of general practice Nick Zwar said many bulk-billing GPs would find it difficult to pass the