‘National emergency’ looms on PoCT rebate

INTRODUCING an MBS rebate for all GPs who perform point-of-care testing (PoCT) is fast becoming a national emergency, experts have said.

A panel discussion at the RACGP’s GP11 conference with Dr Nathan Pinskier, Dr Philip Tideman and Macquarie Health CEO Dr Thomas Wenkart concluded that having more GPs offer PoCT could ease the burden on the health system as the population ages and the workforce struggles to keep up.

Dr Pinkskier, who represented the RACGP on the federal government’s PoCT subcommittee, said introducing a rebate for the service was a “no-brainer” and was “widely embedded” in primary healthcare systems around the world.

Yet, despite a successful trial in 2005 it remains unavailable in Australia except for those treating Indigenous communities he said.

“It’s only in Indigenous communities but it’s not [considered] safe for metropolitan – you have to ask yourself why,