GPs top the list of patient complaints

COMPLAINTS against GPs rose by more than 40% between the 2007–08 and 2008–09 reporting periods, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, released last week, showed general practice accounted for 483 new claims in 2007–08 and 690 the following year.

General practice topped the list of specialities when it came to the total amount of complaints made in 2008–09, accounting for 20%, ahead of obstetrics and gynaecology, which attracted 16% of all claims.

General surgery, orthopaedic surgery and emergency medicine were each associated with about 6–7% of all claims.

In all, 2625 Australian medical indemnity claims were lodged in 2008–09, the report said.

Most claims (about 70%) were small and settled within three years, while 9% took more than five years to settle.

AIHW Hospitals and Performance Group senior executive Jenny