AMA disappointed with removal of collaborative arrangement requirement

Australian Medical Association

The AMA has expressed its disappointment with the government for its decision to remove the requirement for collaborative arrangements for nurse practitioners and midwives.

The AMA has written to Health Minister Mark Butler to express significant disappointment with the federal government’s decision to introduce legislation to remove the requirement for collaborative arrangements for nurse practitioners and midwives.

The AMA is very concerned this decision would lead to a fragmented, siloed approach to healthcare.

When midwives and nurse practitioners were given access to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), there was a rock-solid government commitment to ensure strong collaboration between nurse practitioners, midwives and medical practitioners.

This commitment was translated into legislative provisions requiring a collaboration arrangement, aimed at preventing the fragmentation of care and ensuring strong clinical government was in place.

AMA President Professor Steve Robson this week wrote to Mr Butler expressing the AMA’s disappointment with the planned removal of this arrangement.

“Team based models of care are the future of healthcare, with safety and quality underpinned by close collaboration between health professionals and strong clinical governance,” Professor Robson wrote.

“Collaborative practice with midwives is a key part of how we deliver care in my own specialty.

“The planned removal of collaborative arrangement provisions that are intended to guarantee this, combined with the absence of any robust framework to operate in their place, will promote a siloed approach to care and is contrary to the original stated intent of the reforms. It is also contrary to the expert clinical advice of the MBS Review Taskforce.”

On a separate issue, AMA Vice President Dr Danielle McMullen also wrote to Mr Butler about the need to improve the uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptives in Australia.

In a letter to Mr Butler, Dr McMullen highlighted issues such as a lack of training for GPs, costs of insertion and devices, regulatory confusion and inadequate Medicare rebates.

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