Plan to give patients more power over referrals

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Patients will be encouraged to shop around for a different specialist to the one named in their GP referral, under a push to boost healthcare competition.

The idea — strongly condemned by the RACGP — is one of several presented in a draft Productivity Commission report exploring ways inject greater user choice by weakening existing referral networks.

The report says patients should be given greater scope to “independently choose” a public outpatient clinic or private specialist “after leaving the GP’s office”.

“This

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