Wide Bay docs annoyed by red tape

BUNDABERG doctors are seeing fewer patients thanks to a tangle of red tape, a survey has found.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Mason Stevenson said among the top complaints from doctors was the amount of red tape detracting from their primary duties.

“The problem is getting worse and that means doctors in this day and age are seeing fewer patients each day,” he said.

GP Links Wide Bay chair Paul Neeskens said red tape had been an ever-increasing problem for doctors for some time.

“The amount of paperwork to get something simple like a diabetic to see a dietician is astounding,” he said.

Dr Stevenson, who is visiting Bundaberg today, said the complaint was among several gripes doctors had with the health system that was identified in a survey of doctors aimed at getting a “warts and all” snapshot of health in the region.

“There is a perception by some doctors that not a lot has changed since the Davies’ Report in 2005 and in particular we have difficulty accessing care, an insufficient range of specialists and difficulties attracting Australian trainees,” Dr Stevenson said.

Dr Stevenson also said the quarterly data from Bundaberg Hospital had shown the hospital was “definitely” facing a bed shortage.

“Bundaberg is travelling reasonably well (compared to the rest of the state), but not quite reaching the (international) benchmarks,” he said.

Dr Neeskens agreed with the survey’s results that many doctors were disappointed with Queensland Health.

“The public hospital system has a very poor record with communication when people are being discharged,” he said.

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