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Open Letter to the AMAQ in relation to Dr Chris Perry's comments in the Courier-Mail newspaper

Audiology Australia Dr Barbra Timmer has written an open letter to the AMAQ in relation to an opinion piece penned by AMAQ President, Dr Chris Perry, which appeared in the Courier-Mail newspaper entitled, "Government using 'deadly tactics' to cut health costs".

The full letter can be read here, and requests clarification of views put forward by Dr Perry.

On 1 July, a response to Dr Timmer's letter was received from Jane Schmitt, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Medical Association Queensland, which noted the following:

"AMA Queensland has consistently and regularly voiced concerns regarding task substitutions. The Queensland Government for many years has been replacing roles previously undertaken by doctors with other health practitioners. We are highly supportive of the roles which allied health practitioners, audiologists, pharmacists and nurses have in both public and private practice in delivering comprehensive care every single day."

"What AMA Queensland is opposed to is the Queensland Government supporting health practitioners to work outside their scope of practice as a cost-cutting measure which we believe will result in an increased risk to public safety, a reduced standard of quality care and reduced confidence in the health system including:

  • pharmacists being given authority to prescribe
  • pharmacists being given authority to provide all vaccinations in the National Immunisation Program (9 of which were previously doctor only)
  • people with a referral to a hospital based specialist being seen by health practitioners without training in the respective speciality"

"Our concerns should NOT been seen as an attack on audiologists or Audiology Australia."

"Our doctors work side by side with your members every day, in every corner of Queensland, to ensure patients get the best level of care. We hold the skills of your members in high esteem. However, we believe pushing pharmacy, midwifery/nursing and allied health professionals beyond their skills and knowledge zone is not safe for the people AMAQ most values, the people of Queensland."

"We also encourage your members to read our AMA Queensland Media Release, rather than relying on media reports, many of which have been unnecessarily inflammatory. The full media release can be found here."

For further information, please call Audiology Australia on 03 9940 3900 or email info@audiology.asn.au

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