UGPA calls for incentives to use PCEHR

The heads of the major general practice associations have called on the federal government to properly fund and support GPs to assist in the smooth implementation of the PCEHR.

At a meeting in Canberra yesterday, United General Practice Australia (UGPA) expressed concern about the lack of preparation for the practical implementation at practice level of the PCEHR, which is due to be introduced on July 1.

UGPA comprises the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian Medical Association, the Australian General Practice Network, General Practice Registrars Australia, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and the Rural Doctors Association of Australia.

In a statement, UGPA said its members have been working tirelessly with the government and agencies for some time to ensure the PCEHR becomes a reality.

“The PCEHR is a great opportunity for patients and the community, but it is in danger of being lost or impaired unless there is coordinated action to meet the deadline for implementation,” the statement read.

UGPA called for the immediate introduction of a mechanism to encourage GPs and patients to quickly sign up to the PCEHR. It said general practice can assist in this process, but must be properly supported.

In its submission to the Senate committee hearing into the PCEHR, held on February 6, the AMA said it was essential that provision was included in the legislation for nominated healthcare providers, who will be charged with creating and maintaining a consumer's shared health summary, to be remunerated for this work.

“There are substantial disincentives to medical practitioners using the PCEHR, including the risks, costs and challenges that we have described in this submission,” the AMA said.

“On top of this, medical practitioners are expected to do more work to create and maintain a shared health summary for their patients – for free.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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