PSR under pressure

IT’S not revealing a secret to say that the Professional Services Review has an image problem.

Created in 1994 to replace the ineffectual Medical Services Committees of Inquiry, it exists to investigate alleged inappropriate Medicare claims, and in the process is meant to ensure that those doctors whose claims are called into question have their cases reviewed by a committee of their peers.

It is, in the words of AMA Council of General Practice chair Dr Brian Morton, a “gruelling” but “generally fair” system that the vast majority of doctors will never experience.

“I want to be judged by other GPs if I’m found to be wanting, not a judge, not a bureaucrat,” Dr Morton says.

 “It is the profession judging a practitioner’s professional activities.”

And yet, in AMA vice-president Dr Steve Hambleton’s recent assessment, most GPs are practising with a &ldquo