AMA in the News – 21 January 2014
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.
Fund fee rises fuel fears of exodus, The Australian, 24 December 2013
Private health insurance premiums are set for their biggest rise in nine years. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said it was difficult to determine whether the premium increases were justified amid a picture of increasing private health insurance payouts.
$5 fee to see your GP, The Sunday Telegraph, 29 December 2013
A visit to your local doctor could soon cost you a $5 up-front fee as the Federal Government grapples with a blow-out in bulk billing costs. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said patients would be less likely to go to a doctor if it was more expensive.
Fears fee will clog hospitals, Courier Mail, 30 December 2013
There are fears public hospital emergency departments will be overrun by patients trying to avoid a $5 fee to see a doctor, as has been proposed in a submission to a Government-appointed cost-cutting committee. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton urged the Federal Government to discuss any proposals for a GP charge with doctors before it was introduced, in order to minimise any adverse outcomes.
Call to charge $6 fee for visits to emergency departments, Canberra Times, 31 December 2013
The author of the proposal to charge a $6 fee for GP visits says hospitals may have to charge a similar fee to stop patients clogging up emergency departments. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said if patients were forced to pay a small fee at emergency departments there would be serious implications.
No jab, no play now a reality, The Daily Telegraph, 2 January 2014
New laws aimed at raising immunisation rates have now come into effect in childcare centres across NSW. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton applauded the new rules.
Dons drug use sparks rush, Age, 6 January 2014
The Essendon Football Club’s drug and supplements saga has sparked a surge in the use of cosmetic and performance enhancing drugs, with experts reporting a disturbing rise in the number of young people injecting hormones and peptides. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said boys as young as 15 years were now experimenting with these drugs.
Bernardi puts abortion back on the agenda, Australian Financial Review, 7 January 2014
Coalition Senator Cory Bernadi has sought to re-ignite the abortion debate by describing pro-choice advocates as pro-death, and calling for a reduction in rates of the procedure in Australia. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said that, while abortion was legal, to have one was a still a very difficult decision for a women to make, and was not made lightly.
Dr Steve Hambleton, 612 ABC Brisbane, 19 December 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed a child dying from the Group A Streptococcal disease the previous week at the Mater Children’s Hospital. He expressed concern the common bacteria was evolving and becoming more invasive.
Dr Steve Hambleton, ABC NewsRadio, 20 December 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed a push by the AMA for a major change in multi-billion dollar Medicare Locals policy. He said Medicare Locals have failed to deliver.
Dr Steve Hambleton, 4BC Brisbane, 24 December 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed the importance of food safety, particularly during the festive season. He said seafood, chicken and turkey, as well as smallgoods such as hams and salami, can be high risk foods unless stored and handled properly.
Dr Steve Hambleton, 612 ABC Brisbane, 24 December 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed the cost of private health insurance premiums, which set to jump in April 2014. He said there was a need to sustain a balance between public and private health insurance, and to keep costs down.
Dr Steve Hambleton, 5AA Adelaide, 30 December 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed a proposal put before the Federal Government’s National Commission of Audit for patients to pay a $6 fee for GP visits. He said the AMA was concerned it could discourage people from seeing their doctor, and increase the pressure on hospital emergency departments and ambulance services.
Dr Steve Hambleton, 774 ABC Melbourne, 31 December 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed a proposed $6 charge for GP visits. He warned such an increase could push more patients into the public hospital system.
Dr Steve Hambleton, 3AW Melbourne, 2 January 2014
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed Mark Latham’s proposed health care accountability idea. He said greater equity of education and resources is needed before such systems of accountability could even be considered viable.
Dr Steve Hambleton, ABC NewsRadio Sydney, 2 January 2014
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed taking precautions in heatwave conditions. He said the most at risk were babies, young children, the elderly, pregnant and nursing mothers, and those with heart disease or high blood pressure.
Dr Steve Hambleton, 666 ABC Canberra, 3 January 2014
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed alcohol promotion during sports broadcasts, amid a push for the Federal Government to tighten restrictions on alcohol promotion, particularly during live sports broadcasts.
Dr Steve Hambleton, 3AW Melbourne, 6 January 2014
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed Essendon Football Club’s supplements scandal and the increased sales of performance-enhancing drugs. He said such a roll-on effect was very disturbing, and that internet search results proved a lot of people were looking for performance enhancing drugs online.
Dr Steve Hambleton, Channel 9 Adelaide, 29 December 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed the proposal to introduce a $6 fee for bulk-billed doctor visits. He said it would put more pressure on hospitals and the public health system.
Dr Brian Morton, ABC1 Canberra, 29 December 2013
AMA Council of General Practice Chair Dr Brian Morton discussed the proposal put to the National Commission of Audit for a $6 fee for patients visiting bulk billing GPs. Dr Morton was critical of the proposal, warning it may discourage patients from seeing GPs.
Dr Stephen Parnis, Channel 10, 29 December 2013
AMA Victoria President Dr Stephen Parnis discussed the proposal to introduce a $6 fee for bulk-billed doctor visits. He said it would put pressure on hospitals and the public health system, as people would end up in emergency departments instead.
Dr Steve Hambleton, Channel 10 Melbourne, 30 December 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton discussed the proposal put to the National Commission of Audit for a $6 co-payments for visits to the GP. He said people should be encouraged to visit GPs, rather than have barriers put in their way, so as to reduce the burden on the public hospital system.