A FEW doctors gathered around the piano in a Canberra bar one late December night to celebrate the end of another great year of serving patients, expanding medical knowledge and maintaining Australia’s status as the healthiest nation in the world.
They broke into song with a familiar tune …
On the first day of government, [Health Minister Peter] Dutton gave to me, a paperwork-free day to save the forests and the trees.
On the second day of winning, Dutton dared to offer medicos, a doctor-friendly ministry.
On the third day in Health, Dutton said to me, GPs will remain central to primary care in this country.
On the fourth day of ruling, Dutton said that he, would divide the number of Australian medical schools by three.
On the fifth day in Canberra, Dutton told [Treasurer Joe] Hockey, he would fully index Medicare rebates finally.
On the sixth day of listening, Dutton suddenly shut down, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency in every state and territory.
On the seventh day of action, Dutton finally allowed, admission of the needy to nursing homes with more flexibility.
On the eighth day of consulting, Dutton promised me, a generous health scheme for the Indigenous peoples of this country.
On the ninth day of coalition, Dutton told people in the country, he would treat rural Australians and health services with more dignity.
On the tenth day of power, Dutton asked [Prime Minister] Tony [Abbott], to forget the Council of Australian Governments and run Health federally.
On the eleventh day of working, Dutton frantically realised, there’s too much health bureaucracy.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Dutton gave to me, a medical profession that is autonomous and free!
Thanks to all MJA InSight readers for their good wishes, comments, criticisms and encouragement over 2013.
Merry Christmas to everyone and I hope all your wishes come true in 2014.
Dr Aniello Iannuzzi is a GP practising in Coonabarabran, NSW.