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Of politicians and rectal probes

Of politicians and rectal probes - Featured Image

Despite it being summer and the mercury hitting the 40s in many rural areas, Medicare rebates remain frozen.

It is time all practitioners got active in stirring their electorates up to resolve this bloody-minded impasse. Please talk to your colleges, and get them to get down and get their hands dirty doing some political pushing in this election year.

See your local MP, put up signs in your place of practice informing patients that bulk billing is going to have to end if the freeze continues, and ask patients to get involved to save Medicare as we know it. Universal access for all is under severe threat.

It is well and truly time the people sought honest answers from their politicians as to what the Government’s real plans are for Medicare. It cannot be left to slowly and sneakily strangle it by shrinking patient rebates. As the election draws closer, ramp up your actions.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has a strict embargo on collusion and price fixing so act independently and, if you have any doubts, check your planned actions with the Federal AMA.

You will shortly receive a Rural Medicine Issues Rating Survey, the result of which will be used to guide the AMA in its lobbying on your behalf. Please devote a few minutes to filling it out and telling us what most needs fixing.

The Rural Classification Working Group meets on 25 February, so if you have concerns regarding the Modified Monash formula as it affects you, please let me know now.

I am about to purchase a basic ultrasound with a 40 centimetre rectal probe for the farm to let me know which cows have failed to conceive. I only continue to feed the productive members of the herd.

It is a pity a similar device cannot be used to scientifically sort our politicians into the “keepers” and the “oxygen thieves”.

The annual revelation of the small number of doctors rorting the Medicare system by the Professional Services Review should be accompanied by a similar release of data on politicians rorting the taxpayer, billing us for useless overseas junkets, trips to sporting events and family travel, with the odd helicopter flight and over-the-top entertainment expenses tossed in.

Before the political pot calls the medical kettle black, it needs to get its own house in order.

Thoughtless largesse by our political masters does not engender a culture of thrift in the community, let alone encourage respect.