AMA Announces Health Policy Priorities

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 6 2007 6:13 PM

AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, today released Key Health Issues for the 2007 Federal Election, a summary of the major health issues that the AMA considers will win or lose votes at the upcoming election.

The document will be sent to all MPs and Senators and to the media to be used as a primary reference when assessing the health policy announcements of the major parties during the campaign.

Dr Capolingua said the document was not a comprehensive overview of the health system but a ‘highlights package’ that will allow people to focus on practical solutions in areas of the system that are failing all or some Australians.

“Health is without doubt a priority election issue,” Dr Capolingua said.

“Australia has a good health system by world standards, but it is not providing equal access for all Australians to high quality health care and services.

“It is failing to meet current demand and it is not sufficiently funded or resourced to meet the future needs of an ageing population.

“Now is the time to invest – and invest substantially and strategically – in the future health of our nation and our people.

“The AMA calls on the major parties to promise to deliver this much-needed health investment in the election campaign.”

Key Health Issues for the 2007 Federal Election sets out practical policy recommendations under 18 headings, including Indigenous health, public hospitals, aged care, rural health, nutrition and obesity, Medicare, global warming, alcohol, smoking, and private health.

The AMA also provides warnings about the future of medical training, doctor substitution agendas, and flawed plans for the national registration of health professionals.

Election material – T shirts, mugs and caps – carrying the slogan ‘CHOOSE HEALTH’ will be distributed to support the AMA’s election document, urging people to choose health as an issue that will determine the way they vote at the election.