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AMA in the News – 23 February 2016

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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.


AMA attacks health insurers’ clawback, Adelaide Advertiser, 5 February 2015
Private health insurance customers could finally see a slowdown in the rate of premium rises, amid criticism of insurers for scaling back members’ entitlements. AMA President Professor Brian Owler accused some insurers of scaling back members’ coverage.

Sticking up for all children, Northern Territory News, 8 February 2016
The AMA wants all children who fall behind on their vaccination program to be allowed to catch up for free, calling for further Federal Government funding to boost immunisation rates. AMA President Professor Brian Owler said Government claims that health spending was unsustainable were not backed by evidence.

Medicare plan risks privacy, Adelaide Advertiser, 12 February 2016
A private company would know whether a patient had an abortion, herpes or was getting mental health treatment if the Government proceeds with a plan to privatise Medicare and medicine payments. The AMA is calling on the Government to change the system so a patient’s Medicare rebate could be assigned directly to the doctor.

Anti-vax nuts crack at last, The Sunday Telegraph, 14 Februay 2016
Almost 260 extra children are being immunised every week as even the most hardened anti-vaccine fanatics change their view. AMA President Professor Brian Owler said people are starting to realise the anti-vaccination lobby does not hold weight, and some of the policies are starting to take effect.

Indigenous health vital, The Herald Sun, 18 February 2016
AMA President Professor Brian Owler, in Alice Springs visiting health groups and clinics, said the Closing the Gap report, released last week, indicated that health had fallen off the radar.

Bulk-billing on the rise despite mooted cuts, The Australian, 19 February 2016
Bulk billing rates have continued to rise despite health groups warning patients will be left out-of-pocket because of a Federal Government freeze on Medicare rebates. AMA President Professor Brian Owler said the plan to remove the bulk billing incentive from pathology services was a sign the co-payment had risen from the grave.


Professor Brian Owler, 666 ABC Canberra, 8 February 2015
AMA President Professor Brian Owler discussed the AMA’s Pre-Budget Submission. Professor Owler criticised the Federal Government for telling basic ‘untruths’ about health spending.

Dr Brian Morton, 2GB Sydney, 9 February 2016
AMA Chair of General Practice Dr Brian Morton discussed homeopathy. Dr Morton said he was concerned that people who chose homoeopathy might put their health at risk. 

Professor Brian Owler, ABC News Radio, 11 February 2015
AMA President Professor Brian Owler talked about health spending and the MBS Review. 

Professor Brian Owler, ABC South East NSW, 15 February 2016
AMA President Professor Brian Owler discussed hydrocephalus. Professor Owler said shunt registry for hydrocephalus could be used as a quality assurance tool in order to decrease blockages and infections which affect morbidity and increase costs to the health system. 


Professor Brian Owler, ABC News 24, 28 December 2015
Landmark legislation will be introduced into Parliament to legalise medicinal cannabis. AMA President Professor Brian Owler said medicinal cannabis should be regulated in the same way as other narcotics.

Professor Brian Owler, CNN, 16 February 2016
AMA President Professor Brian Owler slammed Government policy on asylum seekers. Professor Owler said doctors who work with asylum seeker children face an incredible ethical dilemma, because they cannot allow children to be discharged into an unsafe environment.

Professor Brian Owler, SBS Sydney, 17 February 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there would be no change to Australia’s border protection policies despite an offer from New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to take in children headed for offshore detention. AMA President Professor Brian Owler said this was a complex issue, but the issue facing the AMA is to ensure the health care of asylum seekers and getting children out of detention.