GPs told to hand work to nurses, pharmacists

New Zealand Health Workforce executive chair Professor Des Gorman told delegates at the Rural Medicine 2011 conference in Alice Springs neither the Australian nor New Zealand healthcare system could meet demand during the next decade unless GPs changed the way they worked.

“It is immoral when doctors do something someone else can do and then you get paid as a doctor to do it,” he said.

“We train people for four years to count pills into a bottle [but don’t allow them to prescribe medications], what a disgraceful misuse of a health workforce.”

Professor Gorman said Australia had “an extraordinary burgeoning bureaucracy, which gets in the way of healthcare” and had in place “the dumbest way of funding providers imaginable, an uncapped fee for service system which leads to over-servicing and competition between providers”.

“You have a huge challenge ahead and you are starting with