We take a look at multiple polls on single issues – how opinions have changed (or not).

Accreditation

Is some benchmark (such as accreditation) needed to set community standards in general practice?

August 1996

  • Yes 47%
  • No 51%
  • Undecided 2%

Will government use accreditation to control GPs in a way that is not necessarily in our best interests?

August 1996

  • Yes 82%
  • No 4%
  • Undecided 14%

From what you have heard about accreditation so far, would you pay $1,200 to have your practice accredited?

August 1997

 

  • Yes 7%
  • No 74%
  • Undecided 19%

Will your practice be paying $1,200 per full-time GP to have your practice accredited so that it qualifies for extra income under the PIP (amount yet to be determined by government)?

July 1998

  • Yes 19%
  • No 28%
  • Undecided 53%

Is it appropriate to link any government payment to accreditation?

July 1998

  • Yes 11%
  • No 68%
  • Undecided 21%

Would you prefer that accreditation is marketed to the public as an initiative likely to lead to private billing rather than link it to the government’s Practice Incentives Payment?

September 1998

  • Yes 58%
  • No 17%
  • Undecided 25%

Accreditation is now established. From your assessment, is it a marketable entity for consumers?

January 2000

  • Yes 20%
  • No 47%
  • Undecided 33%

The PIP and BPP and blended payments for general practitioners

Are blended payments a desirable change for general practice?

June 1996

  • Yes 24%
  • No 60%
  • Undecided 16%

Are you in favour of increased blended payments for general practice, like BPP (ie. less from fee-for-service)?

June 1997

  • Yes 7%
  • No 82%
  • Undecided 11%

Divisions – their performance, funding and politics

Are you getting all that you want from your local division?

October 1996

  • Yes 49%
  • No 27%
  • Undecided 10%

Can you recall an instance where a WA division has, either directly or through you, improved the delivery of some aspect of health care to the community?

March 1999

  • Yes 63%
  • No 28%
  • Undecided 9%

Divisions and funding: Do you believe divisions should be involved with budget holding?

June 1996

  • Yes 24%
  • No 62%
  • Undecided 14%

Divisions and politics: Should divisions be actively involved in medical politics?

June 1996

  • Yes 60%
  • No 32%
  • Undecided 8%

Should divisions in WA play a greater role in medical politics involving GPs?

November 1999

  • Yes 54%
  • No 35%
  • Undecided 11%

The AMA

Is the AMA, given its resources, doing enough to support GPs?

June 1996

  • Yes 17%
  • No 74%
  • Undecided 8%

Around half of your AMA subscription goes to the federal office for national activities. Is this appropriate, or would you like to see more go to local AMA activities?

November 1998

  • It's appropriate 20%
  • Spend more locally 45%
  • Undecided 17%

In terms of your WA experience, how would you rate the relevance of the actions of the AMA WA Branch to your working life in general practice?

May 1999

  • Very relevant 0%
  • Slightly relevant 18%
  • Undecided 28%
  • Little relevance 50%
  • Not relevant 4%

How would you rate the performance of AMA WA in representing the interests of WA general practitioners over the last 12 months?

November 1999

  • Improved 19%
  • Worsened 26%
  • Unchanged 55%

The RACGP

Is the RACGP, given its resources, doing enough to support GPs?

June 1996

  • Yes 28%
  • No 57%
  • Undecided 15%

Do you believe the only route to VR should be the FRACGP?

December 1996

  • Yes 15%
  • No 81%
  • Undecided 4%

Is the RACGP’s intentions to establish a ‘specialty’ of general practice what general practice needs?

December 1996

  • Yes 34%
  • No 45%
  • Undecided 21%

Should the RACGP play a greater role in medical politics involving GPs?

November 1999

  • Yes 39%
  • No 45%
  • Undecided 16%

How would you rate the performance of the RACGP WA Faculty in representing the interests of WA general practitioners over the last 12 months?

November 1999

  • Improved 11%
  • Worsened 26%
  • Unchanged 63%

GPs and Specialists

Do specialists care about the difficulties GPs are under?

June 1996

  • Yes 11%
  • No 77%
  • Undecided 12%

Should specialists have time-tiered consultation fees under Medicare, similar to GPs?

August 1997

  • Yes 63%
  • No 13%
  • Undecided 24%

Is the written clinical feedback you get on abnormal pathology test results adequate in terms of explanation and suggested course of action?

July 1998

  • Always adequate 4%
  • Mostly adequate 74%
  • Often inadequate 17%
  • Mostly inadequate 5%

How often do specialists you refer to, repeat tests you have done, rather than check with your practice first?

July 1998

  • Mostly 8%
  • Often 33%
  • Sometimes 45%
  • Rarely 14%

For non-urgent referrals to specialists, what do you consider to be the maximum acceptable response delay by way of specialist letter or phone call after the day of consultation?

January 1999

  • 1-2 weeks 62%
  • 2-3 weeks 27%
  • 3-4 weeks 8%
  • 4-5 weeks 3%

GPs admit to writing, at times, specialist referrals with inadequate detail. Specialists privately complain about the standard of some referrals. In your honest opinion, what factors explain inadequate referrals?

July 1999

  • Referring GP is not the primary care GP 40%
  • GPs under too much time pressure 48%
  • GPs uncertain about the information particular specialists want 18%
  • GPs don't want to show their lack of in-depth understanding of the patient's problem 5%
  • Specialists ignore the information provided and do their own thing 23%
  • Other 33%

In the last few years have you been given information by a patient that seriously calls into question the competence of a specialist, perhaps to the extent of medical negligence?

November 1999

  • Yes 30%
  • No 50%
  • Perhaps 20%

Bulk Billing

Are you thinking about decreasing your practice’s bulk billing?

June 1996

  • Yes 51%
  • No 43%
  • Undecided 6%

Are you taking steps to decrease your practice’s bulk billing?

October 1996

  • Yes 42%
  • No 44%
  • Don't bulk bill 14%

In the last two months have you taken steps to decrease your practice’s bulk billing?

April 1997

  • Yes 32%
  • No 64%
  • Don't bulk bill 4%

Has your practice reduced its level of bulk-billing in the last six months?

March 1998

  • Yes 39%
  • No 56%
  • Don't bulk bill 5%

Please respond to this statement. “Consumer pressure is now so great, it is economically or politically impossible for the majority of general practices to abandon bulk billing for non-concession card holders.

January 1999

  • Strongly agree 19%
  • Agree 19%
  • Undecided 3%
  • Disagree 27%
  • Strongly disagree 32%

If GPs continue to deliver most services “free” at the point of sale, do you believe the Australian community will truly come to value general practice, even if GPs pursue or meet quality standards?

March 1999

  • Yes 6%
  • No 86%
  • Undecided 8%

For every dollar the average GP earns in providing services under Medicare, a further 1.3 dollars of flow-on costs are generated in diagnostic imaging, pathology, PBS scripts and the consultation costs of specialist referral. Did you expect the 1.3 figure to be:

February 1997

  • Higher 50%
  • Lower 28%
  • The same 22%

Have you changed your style of patient care (eg. test ordering, prescribing, repeat consultations) out of fear of reprisal from the HIC?

June 1997

  • Yes 34%
  • No 55%
  • Undecided 11%
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