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Accreditation information brochure to be released

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General Practice Accreditation Steering Committee

52 Pa-'Tamana Read. Fonast Lodge, NSW 2037 tel, 02 9577 5655 tax. 02 9577 6666


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General Practitioners will soon receive authoritative Information on accreditation - its aims, costs and potential benefits, Chair of the General Practice Accreditation Steering Committee (GPASC), Dr John Aloizos, said today.

Dr Aloizos, who is also the Chairman of Australian Urban Divisions, said that GPASC woo'd have the brochure out to all GPs within a fortnight.

GPASC, which was formed by the GP members of the previous Presidential Task Force on Standards & Accreditation to inform GPs about the potential costs and benefits of accreditation, made a series of key decisions aimed at progressing the establishment of a GP owned and controlled accreditation system and ending the current information vacuum.

Dr Aloizos said that GPASC decided:

• to distribute an information brochure and workshop kit explaining the benefits and costs of accreditation.

• to organise workshops to discuss the issues.

• to proceed with the formation of an independent accreditation oody.

• to inform the Federal Government and Consumer organisations of the decisions.

» to proceed to plan for the first meeting of the independent accreditation body.

GPASC considered the motions from the AM,A Council of General Practice to delay Issuing the information until the AMA had staged a plebiscite of its members by Christmas on whether to proceed with accreditation. All other GR groups, however, considered that informing GPs was of the highest priority and should proceed.

The leaders of all medical organisations had pledged, in May 1996, to take such action in a meeting with the Federal Minister for I lealth. Dr Michael Wooldridge, following a four year long process of developing entry standards and examination of possible models of accreditation for the profession.

The May agreement aiso assured the Minister that an independent accreditation body would be formed before the end of 1996. GPASC was formed following that meeting to promote accreditation and form the independent body.

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RACGP Secretary, Dr Geoff Martin, said the College believed that the brochures must be supplied to ell GPS to beher inform them of the issues The RACGP would seek financial support from other member organisations, but was prepared to pay the full $30,000 cost of the brochure to ensure information on accreditation was circulated.

The contents of the information brochure were again reviewed and amended and AMA representatives said they would re-submit the contents to AMA Council of GP for approval prior to circulation of the brochure.

Dr Alolzos said the committee hoped that the AMA could endorse the revised text as it would allow the AMA logo to appear on the information brochure and indicate a united viev/to GPs on the information contained

'The brochure will meet the urgent demand for information from GPs, no matter what organisation they may or may not be affiliated with, to fill the current vacuum. There is a lot of misrepresentation, particularly about the costs of accreditation, which this brochure will help dispel," Dr Alolzos said.

All the representatives of member groups - the AMA, RACGP, Urban & Rural Divisions, RDAA and AAGP - agreed to the formation of the independent accreditation body. It is expected that the first steps toward the establishment of the body will be taken in the next week

"GPASC has closely examined the information from the 699 practices surveyed in the RACGP Entry Standard field tests and Divisional Demonstration Trials,” Dr Aloizos said.

"A majority would have ‘passed1 an accreditation visit with no expenditure at all.

O f the remainder, the cost to bring more than two thirds up to the standards would be less than $50 per GP per annum.

“A major cost for some practices, which were suiveyed In 1994, would have been to purchase sterilisation equipment, equipment most practices now have due to the HIV Aids and the HEP C outbreaks.

“If practices do decide to proceed to accreditation the actual visit process would cost an estimated $1200 per GP per three-year cycle, or about $400 per doctor per year."

Dr Aloizos was optimistic that a voluntary system of accreditation, using a three year cycle will be available for trial in early 1997.

"This is a major step forward for General Practice and will place us in a strong position to regain our place as :he centra! element of primary health care in Australia", ne said.

14 November, 1996

CONTACT' JOHN ELLIS (02) 9577 6638. DR JOHN ALOIZOS (07) 3274 1886