Practice nurses will lose jobs after MBS review

Doctors, nurses and practice managers had no prior warning of the health department’s advice earlier this week – that practices can no longer include nurses’ time spent on health assessments under MBS items 701 to 707. 

“This is a major backward step in general practice being able to deliver prevention and early intervention,” said Dr Chris Bollen, an Adelaide GP and the director of general practice training at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 

“This is an area where we need to be doing more, not less,” Dr Bollen said. “If we can’t get good nurses with the right skills and training to do this role, older people are going to miss out, because there’s no way GPs can take more of this work on.”

RACGP president Dr Liz Marles rejected the department’s claim that there had been no policy change and its advice was merely to “draw practitioners’ attention to the