Dominic Perrottet and Daniel Andrews are pushing to restore funding to pandemic hospitals and overhaul Medicare
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.
Andrews said Friday’s meeting is the moment for action on health care reform, including a renewed commitment to a 50-50 split of hospital funding, which is estimated to add billions of dollars to federal funding each year.
“We know how to fix Medicare – better pay for GPs, more university places for young people studying medicine and more incentives for international GPs to settle in Australia,” Andrews told this legal notice.
“Without this funding, hospitals across Australia risk becoming even more overburdened – which, combined with the broken issue of basic services, will put additional pressure on every part of our healthcare system.”
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.”
“We know how to fix Medicare – better pay for GPs, more university places for young people studying medicine and more incentives for international GPs to practice in Australia.”
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews
“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, Health Secretary Mark Butler has not committed to releasing it before the national cabinet meeting.
Andrews and Perrottet have both called for an increase in Medicare rebates to increase funding for basic care, but the NSW Prime Minister said he wanted a roadmap for reform this Friday to ensure structural changes before new funds enter the system flow.
“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.”
Perrottet cited NSW health figures showing that 77 per cent of emergency department presentations at NSW hospitals have been seen on time during the pandemic, higher than the figure of 67 per cent nationally, and the median wait time of 14 minutes compared to 20 minutes at the national level.
However, state figures highlight the pressure on emergency departments from 1.5 million presentations each year of patients with relatively mild illnesses, known as category four and five diseases, ranging from sprained ankles to migraines or pain.
“We need to get emergency departments back to doing what they do best, and that is caring for patients with an emergency medical condition.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/perrottet-leads-the-premiers-in-campaign-to-overhaul-medicare-20230131-p5cgue.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_politics_federal Dominic Perrottet and Daniel Andrews are pushing to restore funding to pandemic hospitals and overhaul Medicare