In his address to the National Press Club this afternoon the President of the Australian Medical Association, Associate Professor Brian Owler, warned the Abbott government is laying the groundwork for a United States style, two-tiered health system.
Associate Professor Owler told the Press Club:
‘The stage is being set for a US-style managed care system in both the primary care and hospital settings’.
A/Prof Owler went on to warn of the threat of any interference in the autonomous relationship between doctors and their patients. The threat A/Prof warned of would see the government or insurers denying patients treatments based on their capacity to pay, pre-existing conditions or other complications.
This is not the healthcare system Australians voted for at the last election.
Labor has long warned that the Abbott government’s intention is to dismantle Medicare and now that warning is being realised.
‘It is clear Tony Abbott is intent on privatising Medicare, ending universal healthcare in Australia. The cuts and structural changes announced in the Budget put Australia on the path to the US system of managed care and it is clear this is what the Abbott government’s long-term intention is’, Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said.
‘Make no mistake, if the government gets its way this will be the end of Medicare as we know it’.
A/Prof Owler also reiterated the AMA’s opposition to the government’s GP Tax.
Labor will continue to stand up to Tony Abbott’s hospital cuts, new taxes and broken promises.
As the party that established Medicare Labor will defend and strengthen it.