Named referrals called out for ‘double dipping’

1 minute read

It's unclear if the rearrangement of public waiting lists results in a better quality of care.

Public hospitals issuing named referrals is a contentious issue among some GPs who think states shouldn’t be siphoning Medicare funds.

The requests to GPs that a patient needs to be referred to a specific clinician is possible due to a relatively obscure loophole in the National Health Reform Agreement.

This subclause (G19b) allows for public hospital outpatients – who would normally have their treatment covered by the state-based health service – be treated as a private patient if they are referred to a named medical specialist.

But it’s unclear if this rearrangement of public waiting lists actually leads to better quality of care.

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