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The Health Insurance Amendment (Pathology Requests) Bill 2010: the risks to patients when the Department of Finance and Deregulation makes health policy

Beverley J Rowbotham
Med J Aust 2010; 192 (9): 484-485.

Patients need to make an informed choice about their pathology referrals

In February 2010, despite representations from the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (conveyed via letters, meetings and discussions), the federal government introduced legislation into Parliament to require all pathology request forms to be marked with the advice to patients that they may be taken to any pathology provider.1 Pathology services underpin modern health care, playing a role in 70% of diagnoses and medical decisions.2 The key concern of health professionals is that the “non directed” pathology referral will put patient safety at risk and undermine the quality of information that pathologists provide to patient care.

  • Beverley J Rowbotham

  • Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: bevrowbotham@gmail.com

Competing interests:

I am an employee of Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology.

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