Why are we waiting?
The world would not be spinning if we didn’t hear of yet another complaint about the PBS authority line. Apart from the wait (“15 minutes for five patients”) one doc rang in to let off some steam not just about the wait time but the charade that the operator goes through, every single time. Once the credentials of the practitioner are established wouldn’t a simple code suffice? “Instead it’s, “Well Dr X (I know I’m Dr X), for John Doe (I know it’s for John Doe), MS Contin 80mg slow release (I know it’s MS Contin 80mg slow release), two a day (I know that too), 56 tablets (that’s how many I requested), Z for zulu (it’s ALWAYS Z for zulu – why repeat that every time!)…It’s maddening! Especially when you’re hanging on knowing you have a roomful of patients waiting and some other doctor is hanging on the line waiting for you to finish.”
Traffic jam for home visits
Mobile After-Hour GP services must feel the bulk-billing business model is still a healthy option with another provider hitting the highways and byways of the Perth metropolitan area. National Home Doctor Service (NHDS) launched in time for the festive season, joining Dial A Doctor, Perth After Hours Medical Service, Doctor Home Visits and GP2Home creating something of a Mobile GP traffic jam. But some surgery-based GPs are not convinced by NHDS’s national TV ad campaign with asserts that demand for after-hours home visits go unmet. Rather it’s a pitch for new business taking patients away from regular GPs and a drain on Medicare. RACGP’s Dr Evan Ackermann acknowledged their concerns but there is no action foreshadowed by the College.
NDIS battle lines drawn
Well the collegiate harmony was too good to last. Last month the then Disability Services Minister Helen Morton was trumpeting the sixth quarter results of the NDIS My Way trial – where it reported that 90% of its goals were being achieved – at the same time Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter told a meeting of state ministers that the NDIS purse strings would only be open if states agreed to cede control of the program to the Feds. Minister Morton said that the Barnett Government from the top down would not allow “WA disability services to be run…from a regional Victorian city”. As readers will be aware, not-for-profits and academics are concerned that the NDIS will be unsustainable and the last thing they need is a turf war. The State-run My Way’s latest report shows 2058 people are now eligible to access supports and services through the My Way trial with no waitlist.