WA News Doctor Polls
Poll Results
Medical Board Panellist Appointments - March - 13

tick

We asked both GPs and Specialists what they thought about the confidential appointment of panellists by the Medical Board – with 328 responding this way: 

How would you explain why the national Medical Board does not make known to the wider profession in WA, prior to appointment, which WA doctors are to be offered panel positions to investigate complaints against other doctors [multiple choice]?

38%  Uncertain.  
35%  Prevent people from trying to influence panellists before or after appointment.   
34%  Desire to hide final appointments from potential criticism.    
13%  Fears of not being able to attract doctors to the panels.   
4%   Those controlling appointments believe that no WA doctor has information detrimental to an appointment. 
4%   Other.

 
Medical Board Panellist Appointments - March - 13

tick

We asked doctors in our latest E-poll what they thought about the confidential appointment of panellists – with 328 responding this way: 

How would you explain why the national Medical Board does not make known to the wider profession in WA, prior to appointment, which WA doctors are to be offered panel positions to investigate complaints against other doctors [multiple choice]?

38% Uncertain.  
35% Prevent people from trying to influence panellists before or after appointment.   
34% Desire to hide final appointments from potential criticism.    
13% Fears of not being able to attract doctors to the panels.   
4% Those controlling appointments believe that no WA doctor has information detrimental to an appointment. 
4% Other.

 

Do you think Medical Board hearings in WA should adhere to Section 183 of the National Law, in that investigating panellists (who are registered health practitioners) either reside or work outside WA? [See footnote.]

Yes          43%        

No           30%        

Uncertain 27%

ED. We got this one the wrong way around, sorry! The National Law says that in choosing a panel of three to hear a matter (two doctors, one community representative all chosen off an approved list), the National Medical Board must, if possible, choose a member from the jurisdiction in which the matter the subject of the hearing occurred. It’s not completely kosher to make this interpretation from this poll result, but around 30% of surveyed doctors agree with that point of view

 

 
”Doctors Never Had It So Good?” - February 13

Girl-on-Beach248 medical practitioners (GPs 38%, specialists 43%, doctors in training 5% and other 14%) took part in our latest poll on issues important to the profession.The questions deal with outside perceptions of the profession and how the profession sees itself. Some of the responses were used at the DoctorsDrum.com.au breakfast hosted by the ABC’s Mr Russell Woolf on February 27.

Please indicate how you align with the following statements.

 

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

There’s been an increase in the trust the community has in doctors.

1%

12%

37%

42%

8%

There seems no end to dissatisfied patients these days.

6%

36%

25%

30%

2%

Our profession should more openly discuss abuse of power and position amongst our ranks.

14%

51%

21%

14%

1%

Medicine needs a more feminine approach and less ‘testosterone’!

4%

15%

36%

37%

8%

 

Medical technology means doctors can achieve so much more for patients.

Yes       72%

No       13%

Uncertain      16%

Medical technology puts too much pressure on doctors to perform.

Yes           28%

No             57%

Uncertain  15%

Future change I would support, in the main, is [multiple choices]

42%  GP subspecialisation 

38%  More part-time doctors 

35%  Lifestyle before work  

30%  Delegate work to Nurse Practitioners  

21%  Sharing more responsibility with non-doctors   

28%  None of the above  

Legal Red tape has 'killed' medicine (i.e. made it very unattractive)

Yes           52%

No             26%

Uncertain  22%

 

Stimulating sample comments by WA doctors on "Doctors Never Had it So Good?"

RED TAPE “After just having worked ‘my butt off’ over Christmas/New Year, I'm not in the mood to agree. Certainly red tape and paper work detract from my work – some of it medico-legally driven.”

REWARDING “The joy and humour of treating our trusting patients will never change but red tape, accreditation and outside interference is throttling our profession. However, it is still the best job in the world. If you cannot find happiness in the art of the practice of medicine, you need help.” OR “Doctors have always ‘had it good’. In some ways it is better with advances in knowledge and technology and in other ways worse with loss of the satisfaction of close caring of patients and loss of esteem.”

GOOD OLD DAYS “I don’t feel it is as enjoyable to practise now. Time constraints, constant criticism of fees and the fear of the ever-increasing risk of litigation do not allow one to relax. In earlier years it was possible to spend time with your patient, get to know the family and do home visits to strengthen that bond.” OR “We have much more powerful therapies now, and systems are better, but Medicine was more rewarding and less stressful back in the ’80s. Why is it so hard for governments to make sensible resource allocation decisions?”

LOUSY “GPs are poorly paid for the training they have done, responsibility they carry and the huge administrative work they must do. They are painted by government as dishonest and unnecessary as their job could be done adequately by other "clinicians." What is there to attract someone to the profession?”

TRUST “How can trust/respect for qualified doctors possibly exist when we are belittled and denigrated by the push to have nurse practitioners perform the roles and duties we have spent years studying, qualifying and specialising to provide?”

GEN Y “The Gen Ys just don’t get it! Money should be a side effect from the good practice of medicine not an end in itself.” OR “We have a sense of entitlement and yet keep taking the altruistic high ground. Most other businesses (we are classed as small businesses by the ATO) would vigorously compete, lobby and selectively market.”

POOR PATIENTS I do think we could say 'patients have never had it so bad' particularly if you are part of a lower socio-economic group. The gap between health services available to those who can pay and those that cannot is widening. The result is likely to be an increasingly dysfunctional society.

LIFESTYLE “Have we moved so far towards "lifestyle first" in medicine that working three days a week and charging ridiculous gaps to cover not working the other two days is considered appropriate and fair? This also lets down colleagues and puts strain on rosters. I think that surgeons were previously overworked and appropriately paid but now work less for more pay. That’s great for us and our families, but not fair to patients, colleagues and the public system which cannot keep up. Why?”

 
Complaints Against Doctors - October 12

Communities are short of doctors. As the medical workforce ages, keeping more experienced,magnifyingglass older doctors working for as long as usefully possible seems a good idea. Those nearing retirement may face proportionally more complaints and registration dilemmas. Will they simply ‘exit right’ because it’s all too hard?

CPD and credentialing requirements vary for the doctor winding back, depending on their past experience and whether they want to do bush locums or suchlike. Becoming a professor is trendy but registration for academics cutting back clinical practice still poses questions.

Because a complaint could be ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ we asked doctors (E-poll – see inset) what they considered were indicators of fairness in handling complaints between health professionals, assuming this would filter out vexatious complaints.

Interestingly, doctors seem to suggest our investigators need some credentialing of their own, and they should be quick on their feet in determining if a complaint has merit. But should these investigators be lawyers, doctors or someone else?

This is an important question because indications are that the people involved now are making a meal of it – seemingly taking too long and investigating everything in-depth. More than 80% of AHPRA complaints were found to have no merit, according to the last annual report, something that is reflected in our MDOs fielding a steep rise in member requests for assistance. Is the public interest better served by this new system?

Are state-based medical boards, still thriving  since we went national, being handed poorly worked-up cases by AHPRA for panel hearings? AHPRA now has $25m at its disposal from registrations of all health disciplines to fund its activities. Early determination as to whether a complaint has merit and low level complaints settled early through mediation, were priorities for our polled WA GPs, specialists and trainees.

Most of the approved medical board panellists from WA, appointed anonymously to adjudicate on matters, were transitioned from the old system to sit on either a Health Panel or Performance & Professional Standards Panel. It is AHPRA staff who choose suitable panellists to hear a matter, subject to availability, their expertise and declared conflicts of interest. Panellists from interstate are meant to be chosen, presumably to avoid complaints of bias.

If you work in a public hospital in WA, response to an internal complaint may appear worse (see letters, this edition). There is a Memorandum of Understanding negotiated between HDWA and the AMA as a guide for handling complaints but there is no requirement for this to be followed. In the interest of fairness, there should be, especially if it means a complaint’s merits can be properly determined at a local level before it goes before more distanced committees and individuals. As an aggrieved doctor you may not get justice until you eventually take everyone to Court, and no one comes away from that experience a winner.

A total of 250 doctors offered opinions - GPs 43%, Specialists 37%, Doctor in Training 14%, and Other 6%


What do you consider the three most important points that determine fairness in handling complaints, one health professional against another [only 3 choices]?

All

GP

Spec

DIT

Those investigating are skilled/trained in conducting a fair investigation.

64%

59%

63%

80%

Early assessment of whether a complaint has merit.

58%

66%

52%

46%

Ability to resolve low level complaints early, through mediation.

53%

58%

50%

49%

Complaint dealt with promptly.

51%

45%

58%

51%

Privacy for both parties until complaint progresses to the disciplinary body.

48%

50%

47%

40%

A known, compulsory pathway in dealing with a complaint

20%

15%

23%

29%

Other point.

1%

1%

0%

0%

 

ED. The DIT figures mainly from hospital-based doctors are likely to apply to HDWA complaints procedures, rather than AHPRA, so the variance in figures (highlighted) gives some idea of their particular concerns.

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 7 of 22