Constructive discussions on co-payments
AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said today that he had a constructive meeting last night with Health Minister, Peter Dutton, to discuss the AMA’s alternative plan to address concerns with the Government’s proposed co-payments for general practice, radiology, and pathology services.
A/Prof Owler said the AMA had been a strong critic of the Government’s co-payment plan since it was announced in the May Budget, and has explained its concerns face-to-face with the Prime Minister, the Health Minister, and the Treasurer in recent weeks.
“The AMA has highlighted the harmful impact of the Government’s proposed co-payments on the elderly, the chronically ill, the poor, and Indigenous Australians,” A/Prof Owler said.
“We have also highlighted how the proposals would disadvantage medical practices.
“The AMA has enjoyed positive dealings with the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, and the Health Minister over our concerns, and this spirit of cooperation was in evidence again last night in my talks with Mr Dutton.
“The Minister has agreed to have his office and his Department examine our alternative proposals.
“We have been quite open that our plan will not deliver the savings that the Government sought with its Budget proposals.
“Instead, we have offered the Government a fairer and more equitable plan. We have proposed a health policy, not an economic policy.
“The Minister said the Government will continue to engage the AMA over the way forward with its co-payment proposals.
“We will meet again soon, once the AMA alternative plan has been properly considered by the Minister and his Department,” A/Prof Owler said.
1 August 2014
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