“The report card on public hospital performance released by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) yesterday showing a nationwide deterioration in the capacity of those hospitals to care for the 54% of Australians without private health insurance”, said Dr Tim Woodruff, president, Doctors Reform Society. “These are real people with major health problems. Many could be working, increasing Australia’s productivity. Many could be managing to live without the support of their relatives, releasing them to add to Australia’s productivity. They have been forgotten by a parsimonious Federal Government which can easily find extra taxes to subsidise private health insurance but not to pay its share of public hospital funding. These patients’ preventable pain and suffering is ignored.”

“Whilst the AMA holds to the incorrect view that public hospitals should be a safety net for the poor, it at least wants these hospitals to perform better. The Federal Government would appear very happy that public hospital care is inadequate as it then forces the desperate and concerned to take out private health insurance even if it is a huge financial struggle to do so.”

“Since Medicare was introduced, access to public hospitals without any personal costs has been an essential part of our health system. Combined with improved access to GPs, it has been the basis for a fairer health system, aiming to enable anyone, irrespective of wealth, to get good health care. Instead we continue to move Medicare and public hospitals towards a grossly inadequate safety net for the poor, a financial struggle and potential disaster for the middle class, and wonderful access for all those on politicians’ incomes and more.”

“The Great Dividing Range used to be a barrier to the growth of our nation”, said Dr Woodruff. “The divide between rich and poor engineered by this Federal Government will be the new barrier.”

Dr Tim Woodruff President
Ph 0401042619

Dr Con Costa Vice President
Ph 0418400309