One minute with: David Rivett

Published 24 November 2011 05:05, Updated 01 December 2011 05:17

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David Rivett is a rural GP in Batemans Bay who also does hospital work including accident and emergency and anaesthetics.

What change would be the most helpful for you in terms of running your business while working as a health practitioner?

A solution to the rural doctor shortage is urgently needed. Satisfactory care can’t be provided when I am stretched to the limit.

What has been your biggest lesson in terms of managing your business?

Find good staff and look after them. Penny-pinching is a route to ruin.

What is the change you’ve made that has most helped your business in the past 12 months?

[Recruiting] an experienced sister to enable provision of enhanced primary care items to patients. These burdensome bureaucratic “tick-box” Medicare items help keep the practice financially viable but they need to be independently assessed to ascertain whether they benefit patients.

How has the job changed since you first started out?

Workload has increased with an growing and ageing population base. The complexity of consultations has likewise increased with this ageing population. Medicare benefits rebated to patients have not matched consumer price inflation let alone practice cost increases.

How large a role do you feel bureaucracy plays in the delivery of healthcare?

Authority prescriptions and accreditation waste huge amounts of time and dollars to weed out a tiny number of “bad apples” in the GP barrel, random audits would be far more effective.

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