Red tape’s a ‘bureaucratic burden’

The figure comes along with the revelation that 10% of GPs are spending more than nine hours per week completing bureaucratic paperwork related to their patients’ care.

This includes Centrelink forms, prescription authorisations and WorkCover requirements, according to the association’s latest national survey of the profession.

The survey, completed by 482 GPs between July and August this year, found more than a third of GPs spent 3–6 hours each week dealing with red tape, with the national average sitting at 4.62 hours per week.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said the time spent by GPs dealing with bureaucracy represented a “shameful waste”, with many doctors dedicating more than the equivalent of a full day of work to red tape related tasks.

“These doctors are up to their necks in compulsory bureaucratic red tape when they could be seeing patients,” Dr Hambleton said.