Health Resources Must Go To Patients
Apr 11, 2005 - 8:31:38 PM

AMA President, Dr Bill Glasson, said today that reports of Government changes to the health system seemed to have the priorities all wrong.

The Australian newspaper reports today that the Government's Podger review of health is recommending a three-tier model involving funding, purchasing and provision of services, effectively bypassing the States.

Dr Glasson said the AMA backs a shake up of the health system but reported details of the Podger Report suggest the emergence of more red tape and less money for patient care.

"These changes are not new. They've been considered – and thrown out – in other countries like the UK," Dr Glasson said.

"We want to see 90 cents in the dollar going to patient care and ten cents going to administration – not the other way around.

"Administration costs money. Governments must put the funding into care, not administration.

"We don't want powerful interests dictating the level of care or interfering with the doctor patient relationship.

"Reform proposals must improve access and affordability to quality health and hospital services for patients.

"Changes must give patients more choice about the services they use and how often they can use those services.

"The AMA supports changes that will encourage a move to national standards in our hospitals and improved integration between hospital, community and residential care.

"But we have to address the overcrowding in our emergency departments and work harder at getting doctors into areas of need.

"We must move scarce resources from top heavy administration back to the bedside where patients are missing out by simplifying current funding models," Dr Glasson said.

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