Despite introducing the highly skilled Nurse Practitioner into Australia to increase patient access to health care, the Australian Department of Health uses taxpayer dollars to provide subsidies for patients seeking care from medical practitioners, creating an anti-competitive market. After unsuccessfully working with the Department of Health to broaden access to the Medical Benefits Schedule, Nurse Practitioner peak groups and individual clinicians are now investigating alternative resolutions. While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Commonwealth Ombudsman are avenues being explored, the tort law of misfeasance may apply to those in public office who knowingly foster this anti-competitive culture.

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