Patient advocacy attracts interest from 'hundreds' of health professionals

Founder and director of the group Patient Advocate, lawyer Claire Crocker, told MO that following recent media coverage about her Victorian-based company that led to the AMA expressing concerns about the model, she was surprised by the calls she had received from people wanting to become advocates.

“We were overwhelmed with calls from hundreds of GPs, nurses, specialists wanting to become advocates from all over Australia,” Ms Crocker said.

But she would not specify how many patients had taken up the service.

Patient Advocate is believed to be the first fully independent fee-for-service provider of advocacy for people in the Australian health care system. Created in Melbourne in 2011 and now spreading to other states, similar models are well established in the United States and Europe.

Ms Crocker said the trigger for her to start the service was a personal experience with a family member in the health care system.