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.
AMA challenges new MBS rules, 6 Minutes, 2 July 2014
The AMA is challenging recent advice from the Department of Human Services that GPs can no longer bill for time spent by practice nurses when claiming MBS health assessment items. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler urged the Government and the DHS to reinstate the former arrangements.
Secret drug payments to doctors stay, Daily Telegraph, 3 July 2014
A doctor’s identity will be hidden when pharmaceutical companies are forced to reveal how much they spend on overseas trips for individual medicos. The AMA has been worried doctors’ reputation could be compromised by publicity about the income they receive from pharmaceutical companies.
Nitschke’s actions offensive: Kennet, The Saturday Age, 5 July 2014
Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke’s conduct in helping a 45-year-old man without a terminal illness to die has been criticised by doctors and described as reprehensible by beyondblue chairman Jeff Kennet. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said doctors have an ethical and moral obligation to provide suicidal patients with a chance to seek appropriate treatment.
Pensioners hurt most by fees: researchers, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 July 2014
New research has backed AMA concerns the Federal Government’s proposed Medicare co-payment will hit vulnerable groups the hardest and could deter them from seeking medical care. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said it was strong data that lent weight to doctor concerns regarding the planned co-payment.
This won’t hurt much, Australian Financial Review, 12 July 2014
Health insurers are pushing for a more streamlined approach to patient care, but medical experts are wary. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler said the AMA is intent on maintaining the independence of the doctor-patient relationship.
A/Professor Brian Owler, ABC NewsRadio Sydney, 1 July 2014
AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler discussed a proposal by supermarket giant Woolworths to conduct free health checks in its stores. A/Professor Owler said it was cynical for Woolworths to be conducting health checks, given that supermarkets were stocked with unhealthy products.
A/Professor Brian Owler, 5AA Adelaide, 2 July 2014
AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler discussed Woolworths job ads seeking pharmacy graduates for an in store health check program. A/Professor Owler said health checks should be conducted in an appropriate clinical setting by qualified GPs.
A/Professor Owler, 2UE Sydney, 7 July 2014
AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler talked about Dr Philip Nitschke’s euthanasia campaign. A/Professor Owler said the issue is about the wider problem of mental health, suicide, and depression, and how support should be provided for depressed people with suicidal ideation.
Dr Stephen Parnis, 4BC Brisbane, 7 July 2014
AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis talked about people living longer. Dr Parnis said Australians are living longer and healthier lives, but obesity has become one of the biggest public health problems facing the nation.
A/Professor Brian Owler, 666 ABC Canberra, 11 July 2014
AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler talked about the $7 GP co-payment. A/Professor Owler said the co-payment was a cost shift exercise from the Federal Budget to the states, as the Commonwealth had responsibility to fund Medicare and GP consultations, while the states funded emergency departments, which were likely to see more patients who were avoiding the co-payment.
Dr Brian Morton, 2HD Newcastle, 14 July 2014
AMA Chair of General Practice Dr Brian Morton discussed flu season in Australia. Dr Morton said viruses change every year and that is why having the flu vaccine every year was a good idea.
A/Professor Brian Owler, Channel 9 Melbourne, 2 July 2014
AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler discussed Woolworths’ move to offer free health checks to customers. A/Professor Owler said if Woolworths was serious about health, it would not sell tobacco and promote alcohol in the way it does.
A/Professor Brian Owler, Channel 7 Sydney, 3 July 2014
An internet craze drinking game called punch for punch is blamed for the death of a young dad. AMA President A/Professor Brian Owler is horrified with the punch for punch videos found online, and said one punch can have a devastating consequence.
Dr Stephen Parnis, SBS Sydney, 4 July 2014
AMA Vice President Dr Stephen Parnis discussed calls to have euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke’s medical license revoked after giving a healthy man advice on how to commit suicide. Dr Parnis said doctors have an ethical and moral obligation to those who seek their help.