Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 4, April 2009

Playing by the rules Speech pathologists’ views about patient suitability for the Enhanced Primary Care Program

Jemma Skeat Angela Morgan Tristan Nickless
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Allied health practitioner views about patient suitability may impact on which patients seek to be referred to the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) Program through their general practitioner. These views have not been previously evaluated.
There is an urgent need for clarification, education and interprofessional discussion about eligibility and access to the EPC Program.
Speech pathologists discuss the EPC Program with patients if they feel it is relevant to them. In determining eligibility, the majority of speech pathologists cited the Department of Heath and Ageing criteria for eligibility as their guide; however, interpretations of these criteria varied. Additionally, speech pathologists frequently considered other factors, such as severity or financial need, as impacting on suitability. Speech pathologists expressed concern about the perceived inconsistency of referrals by GPs under the EPC Program.

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