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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

Dutton to deal on GP co-payments, Australian Financial Review, 18 July 2014

Health Minister Peter Dutton says he has opened negotiations with the minor party Senators on the $7 co-payment for doctor visits. The AMA believes the Government is sympathetic to the objections it has raised and a compromise can be found.

Medical community shares grief at reported loss of giant in AIDS research, Canberra Times, 19 July 2014

Medical researchers and activists were left devastated by reports that dozens of delegates bound for Melbourne to attend the International AIDS conference were aboard downed flight MH17. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler offered condolences to those who lost loved ones.

Surgery fee gap soars, Sunday Times, 20 July 2014

Surgeons are slugging cancer sufferers up to 10 times the Medicare fee for lifesaving operations. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said the AMA had no problem with surgeons charging gaps because the Medicare rebates have not kept pace with inflation.

Celebrating our family doctors, Hobart Mercury, 22 July 2014

Tasmanian general practitioners were feted as part of the AMA’s Family Doctor Week. During AMA Family Doctor Week, the AMA is urging people to work with their family doctor on preventive health care.

Surgery policy ‘like US’, Adelaide Advertiser, 24 July 2014

The nation’s largest health fund is refusing to fund plastic surgery for burns and skin cancer victims under a new policy that doctors claim amounts to the introduction of US-style managed care. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler told the National Press Club there was a fear of concerted effort on behalf of private health insurers to undermine and control the medical profession.

GP fee would harm system, Abbott: AMA, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler told the National Press Club the AMA is not against co-payments in principle, but it was opposed to the Government’s proposal because it threatened the universality and affordability for health care for the neediest and sickest in the community.

Doctors urge checks to reduce heart attack risks, Canberra Times, 25 July 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said people who had high cholesterol or blood pressure, an unhealthy diet, diabetes, and especially smokers, were at increased risk of dying from heart disease.

Caveman challenge dinosaurs, Daily Telegraph, 25 July 2014

Advocates of the Paleo diet have lashed out at the Dieticians Association of Australia after the group slammed their eating habits as a fad threatening to do more harm than good. AMA Chair of General Practice Dr Brian Morton said that there was lack of evidence beyond the anecdotal and experimental.

Immunisation message still vital, Canberra Times, 25 July 2014

The importance of immunisation for preventable diseases is still a relevant community message. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said where immunisation levels were low, illnesses such as whooping cough and measles could be spread more easily.

AMA slams $8b burden of Abbott’s ‘bad health policy’, Courier Mail, 29 July 2014

Doctors warn that patients will be slapped with $8 billion in health care costs in just four years because of controversial Abbott Government Budget changes. AMA President A/Prof Brian Owler gave evidence to a Senate inquiry into out-of-pocket costs in Australian health care.

AMA rejects call for more fee disclosure, Age, 30 July 2014

The AMA has rejected calls for greater transparency on surgical fees, saying it was not possible for patients to compare prices for operations in the same way they might shop around for a dishwasher.

Radio

A/Professor Brian Owler, ABC Riverina, 23 July 2014

AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler discussed the AMA’s opposition to  the Federal Government’s proposed Medicare co-payment. A/Professor Owler said the AMA was not opposed to all co-payments, but could not support the Government’s proposal as it did not include protection for vulnerable patients in the community.

Dr Brian Morton, 3AW Melbourne, 23 July 2014

AMA Chair of General Practice Dr Brian Morton discussed how people can stay warm during the night. Dr Morton said hot water bottles were a good option, but recommended not leaving electric blankets on overnight.

A/Professor Brian Owler, 720 ABC, 24 July 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler talked about his concerns regarding the equity and fairness in Australia’s health care system. A/Professor Owler said the AMA is concerned the proposed GP co-payment lacks protection for vulnerable, elderly, and chronically ill people.

A/Professor Owler, 6PR Perth, 30 July 2014

AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler talked about chickenpox. A/Professor Owler said people needed to realise that chickenpox could have serious implications for a person’s health.

A/Professor Brian Owler, ABC Riverland, 30 July 2014

AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler talked about the AMA’s submission to a Senate committee regarding out-of-pocket costs in health care. A/Professor Owler said regional and remote areas that already have limited access to GPs have very low bulk billing rates and will be particularly affected by the proposal co-payment.

Dr Brian Morton, 720 ABC Perth, 28 July 2014

AMA Chair of General Practice Dr Brian Morton discussed the trial by Medibank Private to provide faster health care access for their members. Dr Morton said that the benefits to better access to health care is good, but the overall idea is not in the spirit of Medicare legislation.

Television

A/Professor Brian Owler, ABC Sydney, 23 July 2014

AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler addressed the National Press Club about the Australian health care system

A/Professor Brian Owler, ABC 7.30 Sydney, 23 July 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler discussed the sustainability of the Australian health system. A/Professor Owler said the Federal Government’s proposed $7 GP co-payment threatens the very foundations of the system.

A/Professor Brian Owler, SKY News, 28 July 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler talked about the role of health insurers in primary care and GP clinics. A/Professor Owler said once private health insurers get into general practice, they will want to control the cost and dictate the course of management for a patient.

A/Professor Brian Owler, Channel 10 Sydney, 29 July 2014

AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler talked about a Senate inquiry into out-of-pocket costs for health care. A/Professor Owler said that we have to make sure the health system takes care of those who are most vulnerable.

 

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