Transcript: AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, Radio National, 28 November 2014
Subject: GP co-payment
FRAN KELLY: Laura and Michelle were just discussing the confusion that reigned yesterday around the Federal Government’s Budget policy to charge a $7 co-payment for a visit to the GP. So, beyond that confusion, what is actually happening, is there a change afoot? Brian Owler is the President of the AMA. Yesterday he accused the Health Minister Peter Dutton of being petulant in his refusal to dump the policy. Brian Owler, welcome to RN Breakfast.
BRIAN OWLER: Thanks, Fran.
FRAN KELLY: The Government is not being at all clear about how it’s going to impose a price signal, but it does remain committed to a price signal, that’s clear, and the Health Minister said yesterday there are now different options being considered. Do you know what these options are, and are they options you would be happy with?
BRIAN OWLER: Well, I don’t think he knows what the options are because yesterday we had, well during the week, we’ve had a number of changes. There’s been this discussion that if they can’t get it through the Senate that they turn to regulation to actually cut the fee schedule but that’s a disallowable instrument in Parliament, so the Senate would be able to object to that and, you know, just trying to change the fee to essentially save the 3.5 billion, I mean they’re losing sight of all of the issues that have been discussed over the past six months. I mean, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health have acknowledged that there are issues to do with residential aged care, there are issues to do with Indigenous health, mental health, with looking after children and immunisation, and so just trying to ram something through and forgetting all of those issues, I think he is being petulant because they’re – it’s “I must get this policy through at all costs and I don’t care what the consequences are.” Continue reading «AMA Transcript – GP co-payment»