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08 Jul 2013

The AMA will join other peak professional organisations in opposing the Federal Government’s $2000 cap on tax deductions for self-education expenses at a national summit today.

The AMA, which has been at the forefront of efforts to have the cap dumped, will be among 21 peak professional, education and industry groups meeting in Canberra to present a united front opposing the tax change and discussing opportunities to work together to get it overturned.

AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton said the tax cap – which comes into effect from 1 July next year - is poor policy that will undermine medical education and training and make it increasingly difficult for doctors to provide quality health care.

An AMA survey of around 4200 doctors shows that, on average, they spend about $12,400 a year on self-education expenses in order to comply with medical registration requirements, keep their skills up to date, and learn about the latest advances in the care of patients.

“The cap will make it much harder for doctors to develop and maintain their skills, and to keep up with the latest advances in knowledge and treatment,” Dr Hambleton said.

“Ultimately, the cost will be borne by patients, as it makes it much harder for Australian doctors to maintain world-best practice in quality of care.

“This is why the AMA and its members take the issue so seriously, and why we are campaigning hard to make sure the cap is scrapped before it ever comes in.”

Dr Hambleton said the issue had galvanised the medical profession. So far, more than 8600 have joined the #Scrap the Cap campaign – of which the AMA was a founding member -  signing petitions, emailing MPs, taking part in surveys, and sharing their stories and concerns.

The AMA President said today’s meeting was a valuable opportunity for the nation’s professions and educators to speak with one voice in calling for the tax cap to be dumped.

“All politicians should heed our warning – this cap will take an axe to education and stifle excellence, and will cost our nation dearly in the long-run,” he said. 

Organisations attending the meeting include the AMA, Universities Australia, the Law Council of Australia, Engineers Australia, the Australian Institute of Management, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Rural Doctors of Australia, the Australian Dental Association and the Australian Nursing Federation.
 


8 July 2013

CONTACT:         Kirsty Waterford                  02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753 


Published: 08 Jul 2013