Ensuring Wise Investment in Health
The World Medical Association (WMA), AMA Victoria and AMA Federal hosted the first H20 International Health Summit on Thursday 13 to Friday 14 November 2014 in Melbourne. The Health Summit provided an opportunity for medical professionals from Australia and around the world to come together and put the spotlight on health issues prior to the G20 Leaders’ Summit being held in Brisbane on 15 November.
Keynote speaker, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, Chair of the World Medical Association and past AMA President, said that there is a powerful link between health and economic growth and it is time world leaders accepted this by making health a priority in their discussions. The Summit focused on the topics of: health as a wise investment; the burden of non-communicable diseases; the social determinants of health; and the health effects of climate change.
AMA President, Associate Professor Brian Owler, in his address to the H20 Health Summit, spoke about how the Government’s Budget priorities are taking precedence over the development of real health policies.
“If we want to get wise investment in health, then we need to have a process of collaboration and consultation for general practice. We can’t have poor policies, purely fiscal policies, developed in isolation to health, thrust upon the community such as we have seen here with the blunt $7 co-payment proposal,” A/Prof Owler said.
“It is ironic that the current Government now wants to introduce a barrier to access to primary care, right at the time when we should be gearing up the primary care sector to deal with the epidemic of non-communicable disease,” he added.
A/Prof Owler said the need to invest in a healthier future with better disease management, and prevention of avoidable costly hospital admissions, was obvious.