Submissions

Submission to the 2017 Review of Australia’s climate change policies

What about health impacts?

The Doctors Reform Society is a health organisation which aims to improve health for all people in a socially just and equitable way. We believe that human health depends fundamentally on a healthy environment. We accept the scientific consensus that anthropogenic global warming is occurring, that this is a great hazard to health, and that urgent action to combat this is required.(1)

It is from our health perspective that we wish to make a brief submission to the current review of Australia’s climate change policies. This complements and in places overlaps with our recent submission to the National Electricity Market review.(2)

We welcome the discussion paper’s acknowledgement that the climate change is a global issue requiring an international response, in which Australia has an important role to play.(3)

However, we note the near-absence of discussion of health in the discussion paper – indeed, the word “health” appears only once, in reference to motor vehicle emissions rather than climate change impacts. It is vital that the Australian government responds to climate change not just as an environmental issue or an energy issue but also as a serious health issue…

Read the full submission here..

Submission to the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market

The Doctors Reform Society is a health organisation which aims to improve health for all people in a socially just and equitable way. We believe that human health depends fundamentally on a healthy environment. We accept the scientific consensus that anthropogenic global warming is occurring, that this is a great hazard to health, and that urgent action to combat this is required.(1)

It is from our health perspective that we wish to make a brief submission in response to the Preliminary Report of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market.

We welcome the report’s acknowledgement that the Australian electricity sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, its recognition that the transition to a low emissions economy is imminent, and its awareness of the importance of integrating emissions reduction and energy policies.(2)

However, we note the absence of discussion of health in the Preliminary Report – indeed, the word “health” appears nowhere in its pages…

Read the full submission here.

7th Sep 2016

Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 Senate Standing Committees on Economics

By: Dr Brett Montgomery

The Doctors Reform Society of Australia is concerned about the potential adverse health and societal impacts of two aspects of the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016.

1. The bill proposes a $1.3 billion cut to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) over the coming 5 years. Many renewable energy researchers believe this likely to have serious negative impacts on renewable energy science in this country.

As a health organisation, we recognise the serious threat that climate change poses to health, both now and increasingly in the future. International health researchers believe climate change to be the biggest global health threat of our century. We believe that Australia needs to play a vigorous role in mitigating climate change. Clean energy technologies will be a vital part of such mitigation.

Cutting funding to such mitigation efforts would be a serious false economy.

2. The bill proposes to cut $4.40 per week from the energy supplement to Newstart recipients. New Newstart recipients receive a payment significantly below the poverty line, and this new cut would reportedly take these people 32% below the poverty line. International evidence finds that less generous unemployment payments are associated with poorer return-to-work outcomes. Inequality and poverty are important drivers of poor health outcomes.

We ask that the committee strike these budget measures from the bill. Indeed, we believe Australia should go further than this, and increase support for renewable energy and unemployed people.

Yours sincerely

Dr Brett Montgomery

on behalf of the Doctors Reform Society

 

24th Jul 2016

Submission to productivity commission on privatisation

By: Dr Tim Woodruff

Submission to the Productivity Commission regarding the public inquiry into the increased application of competition, contestability and informed user choice to human services

Thank you for the opportunity to provide a submission.

The Doctors Reform Society is an organisation of doctors and medical students whose aim is to have a health system and a society which optimises the health of Australians. Affordable timely access to high quality culturally appropriate health care is one key to that.

Read more

2nd Oct 2014

Senate Select Committee on Health

First published: Thursday, October 2, 2014

From a patient perspective we don’t have a health system. The nightmare for patients consists of multiple poorly connected pieces: the public hospital system, the publicly subsidised private hospital system, the GP system, the publicly subsidised private specialist system, the community care system, the publicly funded private allied health system, the mental health system, the private dental system, the publicly funded private dental system, the public dental system, the Aged Care system, and a myriad of other pieces.

Read more

14th May 2015

Senate Inquiry into Copayments/Out of Pocket Costs

First published: Sunday, May 11, 2014

18th Jul 2013

Senate: PHI Amendment (GP services)

First published: Thursday, July 18, 2013

4th Nov 2014

Social Determinants of Health: Senate Inquiry

By: Dr Tim Woodruff

First published: Thursday, October 4, 2012

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee on

Australia’s domestic response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health report “Closing the gap within a generation”.

Read more