Doctors have been told to just say no to requests from naturopaths!
Did you know that earlier this year the RACGP issued a statement via the Australian Doctor to recommend that their members refuse patient test requests from naturopaths?
The rationale underlying this position is based on protection of members from medico-legal and financial risk that may arise from liability, litigation, or test rebate fees, as well as perceptions of patient safety.
At the end of the day as a naturopath my main concern is improving the health of my patient, and I am sure a doctor would say the same thing, so are we on the same side here or not.
It is my experience that most doctors already do say NO, in fact, the responses I have received when I have requested that a doctor run some blood tests for a patient have ranged from “tell that naturopath that I am not her assistant to an outright NO.” So I think that is quite common for doctors to say NO now, they do not need an instruction from the RACGP to do so.
Asking a doctor to run blood tests can be a very frustrating exercise, patient comes to see me, I send them back to doctor for some tests, they wait to see the doctor, they go to the lab, they go back to the doctor and wait some more, they pick up the tests, they come back to me, it is a rare occasion that the tests asked for are run.
In cases where a doctor has sent the patient to me, then yes cooperation is always achieved, because these doctors also want the best outcome for their patients. This type of shared care is best for the patient.
My solution, is to run the bloods privately as a non-rebatable service with a major lab such as Laverty or DHM, they are happy to have the business, I get results on line in a few days, treatment can start sooner, and everyone is happy. For me as a naturopath this is a better outcome for my patients care.