MLs need to go: GP survey reveals

The AMA survey was released as 1700 primary healthcare workers and GPs await the outcome of a review of MLs ordered by Health Minister Peter Dutton. Mr Dutton, who had previously said MLs were an unnecessary bureaucratic layer that should be scrapped, has refused to speculate on how he will respond to the review until it is completed.

By contrast, the AMA, which had initially called for the ML rollout to be frozen on grounds that their corporate structure diluted GP leadership, has more recently softened its stance. In an editorial for MO last year, AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton wrote that it would be too expensive to unwind the organisations and they should instead be “shaped” to improve support for GPs.

But this week the AMA said its survey of 1212 GPs found almost 75% of respondents believed the establishment of MLs had “not resulted in any improvement in access to, or delivery of, primary healthcare, and should be scrapped”.