New code made for doctors is welcomed by health consumers

18 August, 2009

‘Consumers welcome the Code of Conduct for Doctors, which sets out the expectations for good practice by doctors in Australia. This code is not the usual professional feel good statement, but is actually based on the views of the users of medical services,’ Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) Executive Director, Carol Bennett said.

Bennett was commenting on the launch recently of the Australian Medical Council’s (AMC) Good Medical Practice: A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia.

‘This new code sets clear consistent national standards of medical practice. For it to be effective, it needs to be much more than a set of words,’ Bennett said.

The new Code is a first step towards defining broad community expectations of doctors and is welcome preparation for the proposed National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the Health Professions. It has been developed with input from health consumers as well as health professionals.

Consumers were represented on the AMC Working Group responsible for developing the Code. CHF supported the AMC community consultation process and worked with the AMC to host a joint national workshop where consumers and stakeholders worked together to refine the document.

‘Health consumers are delighted with the level of genuine engagement with them in the
development of this Code, demonstrated by their views being included in the final version of the document.

‘While we welcome the launch of the Code, we now look forward to seeing it translated into practice through doctors delivering improved services to health consumers,’ Bennett said.