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AMA in the News

AMA IN THE NEWS               FEDERAL BUDGET 2014/15


Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb, ABC 774, 14 May 2014

AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb, spoke at length to Red Symons and his Melbourne listeners.

“I think it’s going to be a really tough time to be sick in Australia.  What the Budget is going to deliver is increased costs for everybody when they go to see a GP, increased costs when they fill their prescriptions, increased costs when they go to see a specialist because of the freeze on the care rebates, and potentially a cost if they go to a hospital emergency department because of the potential for there to be a $7 co-payment when they go there.”


Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb, ABC24, 14 May 2014

Professor Dobb described the health measures in the Budget as a big shift in the way health care is traditionally delivered in Australia, and hoped that despite the increases in cost to patients, individuals would not be deterred from seeking medical attention.

“I think the health sector is going to emerge with a pretty significant change with the way Medicare is delivered in Australia,” Professor Dobb said.

“What we don’t want to do is dissuade people from seeing a general practitioner.”

Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb, Sky News, 14 May 2014

Professor Geoffrey Dobb said perception that a lot of people go to see the doctor unnecessarily is far removed from reality. He explained that people visit the GP because they are legitimately sick or accompanying their unwell children. Patients that are seeking medical advice and treatment as a preventative measure is also prudent for the sector in the long term.

Professor Dobb described the additional money for a new Medical Research Fund as visionary, but cautioned that the benefits would not be seen for some time to come.


Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb, The Australian, 14 May 2014

The AMA does not oppose co-payments in the health sector, but Professor Dobb said the GP co-payment announced in the Budget was not the right model and did not include proper protections for the most vulnerable in society who could least afford to pay more for medical services.

Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb, The Canberra Times, 14 May 2014

Going to see the GP, filling a prescription, or having a blood test will soon attract a $7 co-payment. Part of that new fee will be directed to a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund. Professor Dobb expressed his concern for vulnerable groups that would not be shielded from the new expense.


Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb, The Conversation, 13 May 2014

The proposed changes to the National Health Reform Funding Agreement puts a huge question mark over public hospital funding. State and Federal governments are ready to rumble over who will pick up the bill. “State budgets will be in danger of being overrun by public hospital cuts. Patients will have longer waits for public hospital services. Put together the cuts and co-payments threaten fairness and equity in the health sentence,” Professor Dobb said.