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AMA in the News

Your AMA has been active on policy and in the media on a range of issues crucial to making our health system better. Below is a snapshot of recent media coverage.

Print/Online

Doctors fear cut will hit 100 jobs, health planning, Adelaide Advertiser, 26 April 2014

Health Workforce Australia, the independent body that ensures there are enough doctors, nurses, and other health care workers to meet the nation’s needs, could be axed in the upcoming Federal Budget. AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb said the state of the board and executive staff was concerning because it indicated the Government was intending to cut it.

$6 bulk-billing fee hits poor, spares rich, Sun Herald, 27 April 2014

A $6 fee for visits to bulk billing doctors would fall most heavily on Sydney’s poorest residents, an analysis shows. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said that $6 was enough to convince people to defer treatment.

Death of free care, Herald Sun, 2 May 2014

Medicare as we know it would end, with bulk billing scrapped and those earning more than $80,000 denied benefits under a health revolution proposed by the National Commission of Audit. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton slammed the recommendations and said it would put health, medical, and pharmaceutical care out of reach for Australian families.

An end to universal health coverage, Australian Financial Review, 2 May 2014

The middle class would be required to cover their own health costs and Medicare would be left as a basic safety net under a National Commission of Audit plan. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said such payments would be a powerful disincentive, and could stop people going to the GP when needed.

Visit a pharmacist, not your doctor: audit boss, Courier Mail, 3 May 2014

People who need medical certificates should be heading to their local pharmacy or nurse rather than crowding doctors’ waiting rooms, Commission of Audit Chair Tony Shepherd said. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said it was important that people be encouraged to see their doctor when ill.

Scare over anaesthetics, Sunday Mail, 4 May 2014

Doctors said a national recall of two batches of the most widely used anaesthesia drug probably would not affect scheduled surgery. AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb said the recall would not delay surgery because hospitals held sufficient supplies in reserve.

Overweight people could pay more for health cover, Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May 2014

Overweight people could pay more for health insurance if the Abbott Government adopts a National Commission of Audit proposal to allow health funds to charge some customers higher premiums because of their lifestyle choices. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said there were better ways to help people improve health than charging them higher health premiums.

Radio

Dr Steve Hambleton, 4BC Brisbane, 21 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed a program called SmartVax, which sends clients a text following a vaccination, asking whether they have experienced any side effects. Dr Hambleton said it will help with adverse event reporting.

Dr Brian Morton, 3AW Melbourne, 21 April 2014

AMA Chair of General Practice Dr Brian Morton discussed a selective leak in the lead-up to the Federal Budget suggesting that doctors may be required to make final assessments for people to keep the disability support pension. Dr Morton said that arm’s length assessments would be better.

Dr Steve Hambleton, SBS Ethnic Radio, 22 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed a major review of homoeopathy in Australia which could lead to stricter industry regulation and changes to private health insurance coverage of homoeopathic treatments.

Professor Geoffrey Dobb, 2SM Sydney, 22 April 2014

AMA Vice President Professor Geoff Dobb talked about co-payments for GP visits. Professor Dobb said the AMA is concerned people will be deterred from seeing their GP and attend hospital emergency departments instead.

Dr Steve Hambleton, ABC NewsRadio, 23 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed the treatment of elderly patients. Dr Hambleton said the way the elderly were cared for in facilities needed to be reviewed in discussions involving doctors, patients, and families.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 2SER FM, 23 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed end-of-life issues. Dr Hambleton said a lot could be done in intensive care to extend life, but the questions needed to be asked about the quality of life afterwards.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 2UE Sydney, 24 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton talked about the problem of addiction to codeine. Dr Hambleton said codeine was an analgesic related to morphine and pethidine narcotics.

Dr Steve Hambleton, Triple J Sydney, 29 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton talked about medicinal cannabis. Dr Hambleton said scientifically speaking, cancer patient Dan Haslam’s testimonial as to its benefits did not help determine the real efficacy of medical marijuana.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 666 ABC Canberra, 30 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed the latest snapshot of Australia’s hospital system from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which indicagted that hospitals were an increasing cost to the economy. Dr Hambleton said to have fewer patients, medical techniques needed to be improved.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 4BC Brisbane, 1 May 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton talked about the decision to stand down a Rockhampton surgeon found to have removed the wrong kidney from a patient. Dr Hambleton said it was a serious offence and there was a five-step procedure to follow in considering disciplinary actions required.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 2GB Sydney, 1 May 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton talked about possible GP co-payments and other impacts on the health system if Commission of Audit recommendations would adopted in the Federal Budget.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 6PR Perth, 5 May 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton talked about the Commission of Audit proposal that insurers be allowed to vary prices based on lifestyle choices. Dr Hambleton said encouraging a healthy population would deliver the health savings the Government was looking for.

TV

Dr Steve Hambleton, SBS Sydney, 21 April 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed Australians going overseas for cosmetic surgery. The AMA is concerned a package offered by insurer NIB gave the illusion that offshore surgery was safer than it actually was.

Dr Steve Hambleton, Sky News Sydney, 2 May 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton commented on the Commission of Audit report. Dr Hambleton said it is a major attempt to shift costs onto patients at every income level.

Professor Geoffrey Dobb, ABC1 Adelaide, 3 May 2014

AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb talked about two batches of the anaesthetic propofol that had been quarantined. Professor Dobb said this was the first time a problem had occurred with the drug.

Dr Steve Hambleton, Channel 9 Perth, 5 May 2014

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton talked about high health premiums for smokers and people who are overweight. Dr Hambleton said if insurers were allowed to cherry pick healthy people, it will make insurance for less healthy people unaffordable.

 

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