Daniel Andrews and Dominic Perrottet team up to overhaul Medicare and increase hospital funding

“We need to get emergency departments back to doing what they do best, and that is caring for patients with an emergency medical condition.

“And that also means giving primary care physicians more ways to bill patients in bulk and ensure the best healthcare for people across the country.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese heads into the national cabinet meeting with calls from all states and territories for more spending on hospitals and Medicare after Federal Health Secretary Mark Butler admitted the system was under its greatest strain in four decades.

The government will release the findings of its taskforce to strengthen Medicare within days, guiding how it will spend the $750 million pledged in last May’s election and will also release a report on fraud in the system after this legal notice reported bugs worth billions of dollars.

The reform plan includes increasing Medicare rebates, building more general practitioners, and a controversial switch that will allow pharmacies to offer physician-only primary care, such as pharmacies. B. Prescribing some medicines.

In a blunt response to doctors opposing the changes, Perrottet declared the GP groups wrong and said Friday’s national cabinet meeting must agree on a roadmap for reforms before later decisions are made to fund the Increase primary care and hospitals.


Perrottet said he “absolutely” wants a national agreement to repeat a NSW study giving pharmacies the power to prescribe medicines for urinary tract infections, hormonal contraception and conditions such as skin conditions, and allow them to administer vaccinations.

“That takes the pressure off our doctors and in turn the pressure on our emergency rooms because we need a system where emergency rooms are for emergencies,” he said.

South Australian Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas said people in his state are waiting 55 percent longer to see a doctor than three years ago. “Think about what that means in terms of the impact on EDs,” he said. “If we’re being honest, the hospital system is on the precipice of an almost permanent crisis.”

“There are things States can do, but we need really dramatic action in the short and long term… We cannot fight the fight with one arm tied behind our back.”


Malinauskas said he wants to see the government’s Medicare report, which will guide future policy decisions. However, Butler has not committed to making it public before the national cabinet meeting.

Andrews and Perrottet have both called for an increase in Medicare rebates to boost basic care funding, but the NSW Prime Minister said he wanted a roadmap this Friday to ensure structural changes before new funds flow into the system.

“Let’s go ahead with the new way of doing things and what the best possible healthcare should be, and then let’s have the discussion about funding,” Perrottet said. “If we go ahead with the funding, we will not have a discussion about the right policy.”

Perrottet and Andrews have also agreed to build 25 “emergency clinics” in each state to help patients who can’t find a family doctor, while supporting Albanese’s campaign pledge last year to fund 50 similar nursing clinics.

The Australian Medical Association warned last November that Perrottet was “writing a prescription for the collapse of general medicine” by allowing pharmacies to offer more primary care, and highlighted the fierce lobbying against any proposal to take over the NSW process nationally .

Asked if doctors were wrong in opposing the move to have pharmacists do more of the primary care, Perrottet said: “I think they are, but change is always difficult and there will always be differences of opinion, and I respect that completely.”

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https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/andrews-perrottet-team-up-in-bid-to-fix-medicare-boost-hospital-funding-20230131-p5cgxn.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_politics_federal Daniel Andrews and Dominic Perrottet team up to overhaul Medicare and increase hospital funding

Callan Tansill

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