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12 Aug 2013

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.


Coalition to scrap the cap, hints Pyne, Australian Financial Review, 26 July 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton welcomed a call by Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne for the cap on tax deductions for self-education expenses to be scrapped.

The State of health, Hobart Mercury, 26 July 2013
Dr Hambleton was joined by AMA Tasmania President Dr John Davis, Health Minister Michelle O’Bryne, Opposition Leader Will Hodgman and Greens senator Richard Di Natale at the Tasmanian Health Conference.

Overexposure is making teens pawns to porn, Sun Herald, 28 July 2013
 The AMA said there is a strong relationship between exposure to sexually explicit material and sexual behaviour that predisposes a person to adverse sexual and mental health outcomes.

Sky-high specialists, Sunday Territorian, 28 July 2013
Patients are being financially stricken by specialists who charge up to 475 per cent more than their peers. Dr Hambleton said patients should not get surprisingly big bills anymore.

Staffing crunch at new RAH, Adelaide Advertiser, 29 July 2013
Doctors and nurses had their say on the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. State Parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee invited the Australian Medical Association to give evidence at a hearing.

Greens promise $85m to help farmers sell straight to locals, Australian Financial Review, 29 July 2013
 The Australian Greens have made $600 million election pledge to reverse the Federal Government’s decision to freeze indexation of Medicare rebates until mid-2014. The AMA called on the Government and the Opposition to match the promise.

Outrage on food ratings, Adelaide Advertiser, 30 July 2013
The AMA condemned a move by the Food and Grocery Council reneging on its commitment to accept a five star food rating system. Dr Hambleton said the industry was putting profits ahead of public health.

Jobe not in any danger, says dad, The Age, 30 July 2013
Essendon great Tim Watson said he was satisfied his son Jobe would not suffer any harmful side effects from using AOD-9604. Dr Hambleton said he had no knowledge of the drug being used by doctors in any Australian hospital.

Get married, get a job and live longer, Adelaide Advertiser, 1 August 2013
To protect their health, men need to get married and keep a job, demographic figures show. Dr Hambleton said partnering was beneficial for health because there were two people thinking about a person’s health, not one.

Medicine price plunge, Hobart Mercury, 1 August 2013
Dr Hambleton welcomed substantial price cuts in a range of prescription medicines but said the 18 month delay in feeding the changes through to consumers was too slow.

Tax breaks stay for year, Australian Financial Review, 3 August 2013
The Federal Government deferred its plan to impose a $2000 cap on work-related self-education expenses. Dr Hambleton welcomed the decision and promised doctors would continue to fight the change.

Man flu not fatal, Adelaide Advertiser, 3 August 2013
AMA Council of General Practice Chair Dr Brian Morton said there was simply no scientific evidence to prove man flu exists.

Definition of cancer may be narrowed, Australian Financial Review, 3 August 2013
Australian health experts have questioned whether the definition of cancer should be narrowed to prevent patients from suffering unnecessary emotional distress. Dr Hambleton said the power of the word cancer often made calm discussion of treatment options difficult.

Digger cancer claim, Weekend West, 3 August 2013
A device used by Australian Soldiers in Afghanistan to jam the detonation of roadside bombs has been linked to a cluster of cancers among returning Diggers. Dr Hambleton revealed he was aware of four cases where the bomb-jamming device had been linked to cancer in returned soldiers.

Greens back calls to establish health panel to monitor asylum seekers overseas, The Age, 6 August 2013
The Greens have backed calls from the AMA to establish an independent medical panel to monitor asylum seeker health in offshore detention centres.

Forces deserve inquiry into cancer fears, West Australian, 6 August 2013
Serious concerns were raised about Diggers’ use of a device to jam the detonation of roadside bombs. The AMA said the device worked on the microwave band, which should not be able to cause the kind of tissue heating that damaged DNA.

A nation of sick people, The Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2013
Many Australians have heart disease and diabetes but do not know it. Dr Hambleton said every adult in Australia should know their cholesterol level and everyone should be assessed at the age of 45 and earlier if there is a family history of cholesterol-related health issues.


Dr Steve Hambleton, 936 ABC Hobart, 28 July 2013
The AMA joined the Greens to call for a return of $660 million for Medicare. AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said restoring the funds would save the Government money in the long run.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 4BC Brisbane, 29 July 2013
Dr Hambleton discussed the growing trend of people shopping around for specialists. Dr Hambleton said people should be looking at whether health funds and Medicare rebates are matching what specialists need to charge for quality service.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 3AW Melbourne, 31 July 2013
Dr Hambleton discussed the responsibilities of GPs when prescribing medication to people under the age of 18.

Professor Geoffrey Dobb, SBS Ethnic Radio Melbourne, 30 July 2013
A growing number of Australians are choosing to go overseas for medical procedures in a trend known as medical tourism. AMA Vice President Professor Geoffrey Dobb said Australians should avoid undergoing medical procedures overseas.

Dr Steve Hambleton, 2UE Sydney, 31 July 2013
Dr Hambleton discussed Australia’s system for subsidising medication. Dr Hambleton said a lot of doctors and scientists look at trials and assess the benefits versus the risks of various treatments.

Dr Steve Hambleton, ABC Newcastle, 6 August 2013
Dr Hambleton discussed the deferral of the $2000 cap on tax deduction for self-education. He claimed the deferral was a big win for common sense.  

Dr Steve Hambleton, 891 ABC Adelaide, 6 August July 2013
Dr Hambleton discussed the rising cost of GP visits. He said the Government was pushing costs back onto patients, decreasing access to quality health services. 


Dr Steve Hambleton, Southern Cross Tasmania, 27 July 2013
The Greens want $600 million pumped back into Medicare as cuts are pushing up costs. The AMA supports the Greens proposal.

Dr Steve Hambleton, Win Hobart, 27 July 2013
AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton joined Tasmanian health professionals at the AMA Health Conference in Hobart.

Dr Steve Hambleton, ABC1 Sydney, 29 July 2013
At least three people have died western NSW  from overdoses using the painkiller Fentanyl. The AMA has called for a national system to stop drug users from doctor shopping.

Dr Steve Hambleton, ABC News 24 Sydney, 1 August 2013
Dr Hambleton attributed the shorter life span of younger men in part to the glorification of alcohol and the risk taking behaviour that goes with it.

AMA, ABC News 24 Sydney, 1 August 2013
Panel discussion with Labor MP Jill Hall and Liberal Shadow Minster Mitch Fifield regarding the tobacco excise increase. Jill Hall said the AMA would support the increase, as would the Cancer Council.

Published: 12 Aug 2013