Too much time has been spent talking about the GP co-payment to the detriment of other important health policy issues like workforce training, hospital funding and chronic disease item numbers, says the AMA.
In a video message AMA President Professor Brian Owler said the impasse over the Government’s “unpopular and ill-informed” Medicare changes must be resolved to end uncertainty for doctors and their patients.
But to move ahead with health policy there was a need to get the whole co-payment discussion off the table, he said.
Too much time has been spent talking about the subject and there were a number of issues that remained unresolved.
“Like making sure we train the right number of GPs and specialists that we need to provide Australia’s healthcare in the future,” he said.
There were preventive issues that should be up for discussion as well, he said.
“The AMA has always said it’s happy to look at chronic disease item numbers, making sure we have team arrangements that deliver the best outcome for patients,” he said.
The funding of public hospitals and the role of private health insurers were also issues that needed addressing.
“These are important policy decisions that we’ve let lapse over the past 12 months as the debate has been taken over by the issue on co-payment.”
To read Brian’s lasted post on health policy stagnation click here.