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AMA in the News – 4 August 2015

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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.

Print/Online

Patients set to pay in Medicare impasse, Courier Mail, 21 July 2015
AMA President Professor Brian Owler warned there would be a sharp rise in the number of visits in which patients would be hit with out-of-pocket fees unless the Government lifted its freeze on Medicare rebates.

AMA calls for no GST on GP visit, Courier Mail, 22 July 2015
Patients face paying GST on doctors’ visits if the tax is broadened. AMA President Professor Brian Owler called on the Government and the states to rule out broadening the GST to include health care.   

Medibank blasted for cost-cutting, The Age, 23 July 2015
AMA President Professor Brian Owler warned Australia was heading toward a US-style health care system, saying the cost-cutting behaviour of private insurance giant Medibank was offensive.   

Medibank’s offensive stand lacks insight: AMA head, Australian Financial Review, 23 July 2015
AMA President Professor Brian Owler said Medibank Private’s hardball negotiating demands are offensive and misunderstand the motivations of health professionals. Professor Owler said one of the highly preventable adverse events that Medibank has said it would not pay for was maternal death associated with childbirth.

GPs could have seen to hospital visits: survey, The Australian, 24 July 2015
Almost a fifth of emergency department visits by the elderly are for problems that could have been managed by their GPs. AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis said it was hard to differentiate when the best care should be provided by a primary care physician or an emergency department.

AMA President’s wrong diagnosis on budgets, The Australian, 28 July 2015
AMA President Professor Brian Owler is calling for an urgent recognition of the costs of providing high quality care. Professor Owler told the National Press Club it was not the AMA’s job to say where the funding should come from.

Medibank Private ready for scrap with hospitals, Weekend Australian, 25 July 2015
Medibank Private is ready for a long battle with private hospitals. AMA President Professor Brian Owler said negotiations between hospitals and private insurers had become increasingly aggressive and he warned that Medibank’s patients would no longer be fully covered for treatment in a Calvary hospital.

Radio

Professor Brian Owler, 2UE Sydney, 21 July 2015
AMA President Professor Brian Owler talked about health funding. Professor Owler said that, when it comes to public hospital funding, the states and territories are the ones that have the responsibility to get the job done, but they rely on Commonwealth funding.

Professor Brian Owler, 2GB Sydney, 22 July 2014
AMA President Professor Brian Owler talked about the dispute between the AMA and Medibank Private. Professor Owler said that Medibank Privates decision to list 165 conditions for it will not provide insurance cover was not common practice.

Professor Brian Owler, 2UE Sydney, 23 July 2014
AMA President Professor Brian Owler discussed Medibank wanting to change its maternity coverage so that if the mother dies during child birth they don’t have to pay. Professor Owler said it was “offensive” that anyone could think that a financial penalty was needed to motivate hospital staff to prevent deaths during child birth.

Dr Stephen Parnis, 5AA Adelaide, 27 July 2015
AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis discussed alcohol advertisements. Dr Parnis said foetal alcohol syndrome was a serious problem in Australia and that sometimes warning labels on packaging were used as an excuse for not taking more significant action.

Television

Professor Brian Owler, ABC, 22 July 2015
Acknowledging the political and economic realities that confront governments, AMA President Professor Brian Owler outlined the practical, affordable, and achievable policies and actions that the AMA believes will best serve the health needs of the Australian population.

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