AMA calls on PM to fix Medicare

The AMA has called on Tony Abbott to review his unpopular health policies.

Tony Abbott may have survived the ‘near death experience’ of seeing off a leadership spill, but his own party has expressed to him, in no uncertain terms, that he is now ‘on notice’ to lift his game.

In response, Mr Abbott yesterday pledged that ‘good government starts today’ – and Australian Medical Association (AMA) President, Associate Professor Brian Owler, believes that a priority for the Government’s rehabilitation should be to review its unpopular health policies.

The AMA President has pressed upon the Prime Minister the need to consult closely with the medical profession on the controversial Medicare reforms – the handling of which to date has scarred the Government’s reputation in the eyes of voters.

“The Prime Minister said that ‘good government starts today’. Good health policy must also start today,” Owler said. “It is time to end the uncertainty about the Government’s Medicare plans.

“The Prime Minister must ditch the disastrous Medicare co-payment model, the $5 cut to the Medicare patient rebate, and the freeze on Medicare rebate indexation until 2018. Coalition members know that these policies are hurting the Government at the local level across the country.

“Voters want health policies that improve access to health care, not policies that make it harder and more expensive to see a doctor.

“Doctors want to provide quality care to their patients and communities, and do not want the viability of their practices threatened.

“The AMA held doctor forums in several States yesterday and the message from grassroots GPs was clear – the Government must scrap its potentially destructive Medicare changes. All of them.”

Apart from many other factors, such as the Queensland election result, the PM’s back-flipping on his paid parental leave scheme, and the knighthood for Prince Philip, it seems clear to many that the Government’s poor health policy was a major catalyst for the leadership spill ballot.

“Good health policy will restore confidence in the Government’s leadership and in the Government’s public standing,” Owler said. “The AMA is ready to engage with the Government to develop health policies that will ensure quality health service provision to the Australian community for the long term.

“As AMA President, I am available immediately to start the good health policy conversation with the Prime Minister,” Associate Professor Owler said.

Read the media release

Opinion: A good place to start

Mr Abbott has survived a potential leadership spill and has vowed to change his ways in order to better serve Australians. Reviewing his disastrous health policy seems a good place to start.

Since its introduction with the Federal Budget, the poor handling of the proposed changes to Medicare has been an obvious black mark against the Government. This issue affects all Australians – young and old – and if Mr Abbott wants to redeem himself in the eyes of voters, scrapping the Medicare proposals could do wonders for his reputation.

If the PM can somehow fix this problem, his stocks would no doubt improve in the eyes of his constituents, and that surely should be a priority for his flailing administration. Solving the Medicare issue also gives the PM a chance to prove that he can ‘socialise’ policy, by actually consulting with the health-care sector for the best possible outcome – a sustainable health system. It would also go a long way towards the PM regaining voter confidence and solidifying his role as a trustworthy leader of our country.

The Federal Government – and all Australians – will undoubtedly benefit from a rehabilitated health policy. Here’s hoping Mr Abbott can come through with the goods.

What do you think? If the Government scrapped its proposed changes to Medicare, would it give you renewed confidence in the current administration? Do you think fixing the Medicare issue should be a priority for the Government? Or do you think Mr Abbott faces bigger problems than healing our health system?





    COMMENTS

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    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    10:16am
    It wasn't Brocken until they started Playing with it !! ..
    Frank Spencer...
    MICK
    10th Feb 2015
    12:18pm
    Don't expect anything other than marking time until the next election is done and dusted. It is clear that this leopard has no intention of changing its spots. As much came out after the spill vote.
    Strummer
    10th Feb 2015
    10:29am
    The mad monk hasn't promised to change his ways to benefit the electorate, he's promised to change his ways to benefit himself.
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    12:31pm
    God helps those that Help themselves !! :-)
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    10:36am
    Our PM Abbott must change the policy that was effected a few years back now making it harder and very difficult for retired pensioners to be in a health fund (I think it was year 2001?) when the Government put a massive increase to the levy medical funds (its was not done by Health funds)but the dam government.............example..... We were in a health fund for 40 years (due to change in our finances we pulled out of the fund)....... and we wanted to rejoin?.....the massive levy was place..... on pensioners wanting to join again regardless........... how many years you were a member of a fund..............we are all being punished by our by our government..............PM Abbott go back to the drawing board and take away the Levy that was placed on these funds........so pensioners can afford a health fund too...........politicians are a bloody disgrace.
    Bes
    10th Feb 2015
    12:17pm
    Agreed, well put.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:00pm
    Bes, glad that you understood what I was trying to say. cheers Tia
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    1:08pm
    tia-maria the levy was imposed on everyone not just 'retirees'. There was a grace period that was intended to encourage those who had either left the funds in the past or who had never had private insurance to sign up with no penalty. And many did.
    If you 'missed the boat' that is a shame but hardly the Government punishing you or anyone else. And by the way, it was the Labor Government who reduced the government subsidy on the premiums. Where is your criticism of that?
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:15pm
    KSS...........This a typical comment from you KSS..........health funds use to run their own health funds until the government took over...........yes KSS it has made it very difficult for retired pensioners to be in a fund ........bloody politicians don't give a dam in hell about us..........regardless if we Liberal or Labor party....they only look after themselves...............are you in one???????
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    1:20pm
    A health fund tia-maria? Yes as it happens and I make sacrifices to do so.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:28pm
    Well KSS all depends on your situation at the time you drop out of a fund........but to be punished for doing so and wanting to fully cover again as one situation changes is a different kettle of fish..........ps I am in Silver benefits never use it but would be happy to be fully covered again.(at a cost that's affordable).............KSS do some home work mate and check out the cost to re-join a fund........you be dam shocked.
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    1:33pm
    2% per year over the age of 30 to a maximum loading of 70%. Oh and you can opt out for up to three years without penalty. I already know mate!
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:38pm
    KSS you take the cake...................
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    1:56pm
    Wer'e on a Hunger Strike !!
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    8:59pm
    parti, I'll join your hunger strike as soon as I finish my pizza, salad and desert!
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    9:47pm
    tia, are you using the money you saved for the cancellation of the Carbon tax to defray the cost of visiting the doctor?
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    9:52pm
    Well if Tia is like Me we haven't seen any Change Yet ?? The CEO of the Power Company must have bought an Havana with it ?? !!
    buby
    12th Feb 2015
    11:15am
    GeeZ parti i would be giving your Power company the flick, cause i noticed the change ages and ages ago.........could be he did buy a Havana with it, i'd be chasing it down if i was you ??? lol
    Blossom
    13th Feb 2015
    2:49pm
    Yes, you are right Tia Maria.
    Private Health did run their own cover for all medical expenses and gaps werevery low. I can remember going to our fund's office, putting in the claims and getting paid cash straight away. That will never happen now. Too much security risk for large claims
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    3:00pm
    Blossom .. I can remember the same Even though I don't visit the Doctor very often at all ! But when I did I took it to the Medicare Office here ( When we had one) and was paid Not Much Less Than The Bill !! OK !! :-)
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    3:02pm
    PS.. I think it is incorporated in the Centrelink Building now ?
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2015
    10:39am
    Finally, the AMA want to be constructive. This is very good news!
    Polly Esther
    10th Feb 2015
    12:29pm
    The AMA President is a Professor Owler?
    Hope he is as wise as.
    I'm sure he will be.
    Yes the washing is being hung out to dry as we speak, and it will finish clean, spick and span.
    I have confidence.
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    12:32pm
    The problem with the AMA is that they don't actually represent the majority of GPs. The AMA is a membership association and it is not compulsory for GPs to be members. Many GPs left the organisation because the AMA does not consult or even inform its membership of its activities. The AMA secretly went to the Government with its own co-payment proposal that its own members knew nothing about and when they found out, did not support.

    Lets hope that the spirit of consultation and co-operation will surface among all parties. And yes, that includes the consumers of health services.
    Paulodapotter
    10th Feb 2015
    5:21pm
    This is a government that won't change until they are told in no uncertain terms by the electorate. They are a conservative government. They don't consult because they are born to rule. They will give it lip service for a while, then it's business as usual. It's been that way as long as I can remember and I don't see them changing. They are manipulators not creators. Abbott is good at bashing, but building is not in his DNA.
    Adrianus
    11th Feb 2015
    8:09am
    Pleased to see it's being hung out to dry Willie. Often those electric dryers get stuck on the spin cycle.
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    6:23pm
    And washing the clothes in the creek and beating them all on a rock the "Clean and Green way" isn't much good in the rain.
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    7:40pm
    Don't Dink out of The Ganges River !! :-<
    dougie
    10th Feb 2015
    10:51am
    I agree that the Health System should be fixed as a matter of urgency. Health matters generally affect those most vulnerable the parents with young ones and the Senior section of the community who may never have had a real health problem but as we age these matters come into play.
    Let us certainly enter into discussion with the health Providers but please do not give them control or we may never be able to afford healthcare. After all the medical profession is now a business not a community service. Staff need to be paid a good wage not an outstanding wage, hospitals need to be built and staffed and specialist services need to have their ability to restrict the number of speciality providers curtailed.
    Lets hope the new Abbott is up to these discussions.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    11:28am
    dougie, Abbott will never change
    Polly Esther
    10th Feb 2015
    12:39pm
    He may change but only if he wants to, if so lets hope it's not for the worse.
    But again, it couldn't be, much worse that is.
    pom13
    10th Feb 2015
    5:59pm
    dougie, New Abbott what a Joke, you are thinking a leopard will change its spots - dream on
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    7:34pm
    Quiet Please while Tony Chameleon gets His point across !!
    Bes
    10th Feb 2015
    10:52am
    Australian Professional Politicians must realize that they are elected by democratic process to 'MANAGE' our country and it's assets.
    They must be prepared to 'manage' Australia, both Federal and State, to the very best of their ability in the very BEST interests of the electorate.
    And NOT to levitate to a position of power and completely lose touch with the people of Australia and their needs and wishes.
    Our political system can be used solely to accomplish a 'feathered nest' by negative people who write good speeches and for little accomplishment.
    We do not mind paying a good reward to the right people and fully understand that you only get what you pay for, or vote for!
    The running of 6 state governments, put into place by England in the 1800's, comes at phenomenal cost, with differing laws, police forces and ideologies which result in overall difficulties and therefore COST to the running of the country.
    The old adage of 'don't fix it if it ain't broken' is now dated and uneconomical.
    The discussion of Australia becoming a Republic should be put squarely on the table in order to design a new Constitution, based upon the economics and management of Australia and it's government.
    pate
    10th Feb 2015
    11:08am
    As far as I see it and that means experience of the system it is mostly caused by the well healed and paid. The director of our local hospital lied to my daughter when she questioned the goings on in emergency when I was rushed to hospital and they would niot listen to me when I asked if the would xray my back after having fallen. They said there was no need to & sent me home complete with several broken bones in my back. Enem though they had been told by my doctor & reminded by me that I had been recently diagnosed with Osteoporosis.Who made this decision not to xray me? The person in charge or just a nurse. Our hospital has been adverting for a few years for a doctor to be on call to the hospital nut no such luck.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    11:33am
    pate, our nursing system is out of control.............., bring back the old system and training back on the wards,..............(unfortunately with all the cut backs by politicians is a bloody disgrace) to save dollars and not lives
    Ming
    10th Feb 2015
    12:26pm
    Pate, your experience is inexcusable, but until there is local management of hospitals, as it was when I was young, I fear many more will suffer the same fate.
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    12:41pm
    Whilst I sympathise with your experience I must take issue with the phrase "The person in charge or just a nurse". I find that to be insulting in the extreme. No one is 'just' anything e.g. 'just' a housewife, 'just' a teacher..... Would you say 'just' a Doctor? No I thought not.

    The fact is the nurse would not have had the authority to order x-rays (or not as the case may be) in the emergency department of a hospital. To be critical of the nurse in question is simply an injustice.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:07pm
    KSS..........regardless mate even if a nurse in 1styear or 4th trained no one knows these days unfortunately the uniforms of today says enough.........BUT in the early day we knew who our Sisters......who were the Nurses by the stripes on the caps ......these days you don't know who is who..........NO THANKS TO THE POLITICIANS WHO ARE NOT JUST RUNNING OUR COUNTRY INTO THE GROUND...... BUT........OUR HOSPITALS AS WELL......AND THE WAY NURSES ARE BEING TRAINED?????...........KSS how many times have you been a patient in hospital over the last few years.............I could put some grey hairs on your head to make them stand up,
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    1:19pm
    As it happens tia-maria and not that it is any of your business, but yes I have been in hospital in the last few years - for unexpected, emergency, life-saving surgery not of my own making and treated in a mixed gender ward in a public hospital whilst paying private hospital cover fees.

    I have nothing but praise for ALL the staff from the cleaning crew, the kitchen staff, the nurses, the nursing trainees (some of whom were more empathetic than the experienced nurses) to the specialists.

    The Royal College of Nursing - NOT a Government department sets the standards for nursing training. Nurses these days are university graduates and most are more than competent.

    But just as there are awful patients there are poor medical professionals as there are in all fields. Nevertheless, no one deserves to be referred to as 'just a ...' and that was my point.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:33pm
    KSS...no mate none of my business in a fund but one thing is for sure ??? you have no idea what it would cost to re-join today??? that saddens me that you don't understand other people in more difficult situation .....than maybe yours........ but gee mate you were a lucky man being treated at the highest standards???.............do some home work stop being so blinded.
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    1:43pm
    tia-maria: As I posted above: 2% per year over the age of 30 to a maximum loading of 70%. Oh and you can opt out for up to three years without penalty. I already know mate!

    Yes treated at the highest standards in a PUBLIC HOSPITAL. But then perhaps it comes down to respect. I respected all those who had some involvement in my stay regardless of their role or status. I repeat; the point of the post above was about NOT referring to anyone as 'just a..." That is disrespectful and insulting.
    Paulodapotter
    10th Feb 2015
    5:28pm
    KSS you have been everywhere and done everything, you lucky fellow. You're obviously very wealthy and very poor. You have experienced the worst situations and the best. In fact you are just like everyone else except that all your experiences are opposite to everyone else's. Very strange???
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    6:23pm
    Perhaps Paulodpotter it is not a case of what experiences you have but how you react to them that is the difference between us. People can be a negative Nancy if they like. I choose not to be.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    7:15pm
    hey Paulodapotter ...............at least mate we can have a laugh? at some comments?
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    7:40pm
    Sure does Help when Dads the Head Surgeon !! :-)
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    9:18pm
    This sounds like a middle management bureaucrat in the hospital system that made the decision to send you home. As far as tia maria's rant about the politicians running everything in Australia into the ground, perhaps she can tell us why Rudd and Gillard borrowed so much money from China and left nothing in the till except an IOU pile when they left. This leaves bugger all for Australia's other expenses after the present government has to pay $11Billion per year to just pay off the interest owing.

    And some of our people can't wait to get rid of Abbott and his efforts to repay Labor's debt to China So what will Bill Shorten do about fixing Medicare and our health and system if he becomes PM in 2016? How will Bill Shorten and his Labor cronies pay back the money owed to China and clean up the financial mess their policies caused between 2007 1bd 2013? Ask your selves how you think Shorten will do this, and remember to be careful in what you wish/vote for, you just might get three years of it until 2019.
    Jude
    10th Feb 2015
    11:53am
    Abbott must partner with the AMA public hospitals and Private Health Funds to ensure affordable care for all Australians. Many of us living on a limited income struggle to pay for private health insurance to ensure access and choice, health insurance is becoming unaffordable for retirees.
    Bes
    10th Feb 2015
    12:16pm
    Fully agree, well put.
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    1:00pm
    Lets not make everything a retiree issue when it comes to affordable private health insurance. It is becoming unaffordable for the single working person with no children too. You have to remember that not everyone working has a bigger income than a retiree. But their premiums are increasing on the back of paying for others e.g. other people's children and the 'oldies' who need to access care more frequently. The rebate has been wound back and with the predicted increase in premiums this year there will be many working singles who will seriously consider dropping out altogether. That, in turn, will increase costs for the funds and put more strain on the public health system.

    The bigger issue that does affect retirees, is that premiums in that age group rise at higher rates than the younger age groups. As an example, last year the 'reported' increase in premiums was about 6%. For those over 55 the average increase was well over 9% regardless of whether they made claims or not. It is the lack of equity in the rate of increase that should be the real focus not simply that private health insurance is unaffordable for retirees on the basis they are retirees. Perhaps there should be a sort of no claims bonus in place much like car insurance. Then if you don't claim, you get a discount.

    And one more thing, private health insurance does not cover GP visits (except for a couple of trials in QLD). So making private health insurance more accessible would not change the medicare affordability issues in visiting a GP, having blood-tests etc etc that may or may not be bulk-billed and may or may not attract a co-payment.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:11pm
    KSS..........first are you a retired pensioner?? as Your Choice Life is all about us??????and what is good for the retired pensioners. rest my case
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    1:28pm
    tia-maria, Maaate! Perhaps you would do well to read the About Us page which describes the readership this site is aimed at. I think you will find it is not exclusively for the retired pensioner. Then rest your case.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:37pm
    KSS rest your case..............Well I can see why?? I don't think your as old as us .........and that you don't understand other retired pensioners that struggle big times..............
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    1:51pm
    tia-maria perhaps you would like to re-read the second paragraph of my post in this section and then tell me exactly what you disagree with. I have even offered a possible solution to the affordability issue which you have conveniently ignored in your haste to denigrate me. Disagree by all means but stop making this personal.
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    2:11pm
    KSS..........time out mate
    Bes
    10th Feb 2015
    7:54pm
    Dear KSS, your quote: (their premiums are increasing on the back of paying for others e.g. other people's children and the 'oldies' who need to access care more frequently.) end quote.
    Yes the premiums are increasing and us oldies do have a need.
    That is what we have been paying in for all these years, but now that we have reached the age that we planned for, the 'want it all now' crowd find it objectionable.
    In the 60's and 70's most people paid private and there were no waiting lists, private or public.
    Along came Medicare and we paid our levy and our private health.
    Well suck it up mate, it won't be any easier when its YOUR time!
    Your credit card won't look after you in your older years...everyone pays....as you will find out!
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    8:59pm
    Bes, well said mate
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    7:03pm
    Affordable care to Abbott would be a wipe of mothers spit and a band-aid.
    Abbott was the Health Minister that buggered the system under Howard.
    ray from Bondi
    10th Feb 2015
    11:56am
    it is not in their DNA, he may lay low for a while, but heaven save us if they are here for another term
    MICK
    10th Feb 2015
    12:20pm
    Spot on Ray. Once a congenital liar, always a congenital liar. This is not about 'change'. It is about getting re-elected and then business as usual.
    Patriot
    10th Feb 2015
    12:28pm
    I'm sure they are only relenting on some issues now because they have PLANS for the next term.
    MORE CLEVER DECEPTION ON THE WAY????
    tia-maria
    10th Feb 2015
    1:17pm
    spot on Ray
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    1:53pm
    Its not the Next term I'm worried about its the Time they have left for the Whatever Ground work in this one ?? I think this is the Set It Up Boys Term ?? :-(
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    9:39pm
    Be careful what you wish/vote for in 2016.

    Do you want a return to Labor's policies brought in by Kevin07 and his once faithful companion Julia in allowing boat people back in at taxpayers expense, borrowing more money from China and sinking the country even deeper into debt so our great great grandchildren will still be paying it off? The beauty of democracy is that the voters get what they deserve.
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    11:57am
    If you are touting for a return to Labor in 2016, consider this. Imagine that you inherit a pile of money and blow it all in six years while borrowing eight times that amount with no hope of repaying it. Most people would call you a fool or worse. Yet that is what Kevin07 and Julia did when they were in power from 2007 until 2013. Some people choose to ignore and deny that simple fact and want to return the Labor mob. Cal Abbott stupid if you will, but what do you call someone that wants to reward Labor to government?
    tia-maria
    11th Feb 2015
    2:38pm
    Wally wake up your devoted Liberals are going hill big times..........and also stop blaming the Labor for every thing........and as far as I am concern I don't trust any politicians what so ever
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    3:04pm
    Whatsoever Whatsoever whatsoever !!! :-)
    wally
    13th Feb 2015
    10:30am
    I'm not blaming Labor for everything, tia. Just their overspending, putting Australia so deeply into debt, denying that their stupidity in doing so and then fighting tooth and nail to prevent the current govt from repaying Labor's debt before it gets any worse. If you do not trust Shorten so much, why don't you say so? After all Kevin 07 couldn't trust him!
    Jurassicgeek
    10th Feb 2015
    12:18pm
    yep it aint broke so dont mess with it!...
    Ming
    10th Feb 2015
    12:23pm
    Let us all get someone else to pay!
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    9:53pm
    And pay. Who will pay? Our grand kida and their kids thru their taxes.
    So when you thank Kevin 07 for your stimulus payment, free ceiling insulation, your free tv set top box and the chance to connect to the NBN, thank your kids because they are the ones left footing the bill through the taxes they will be paying.
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    1:42pm
    Do You think You worry too much Wal ?? You'll give Yourself Ulcers !! :-(..
    Let Joe get them !! And You go and have a Nice Cold Beer !! :-)
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    6:05pm
    parti, I don't think I'm going to give myself ulcers. I like to think I'm giving ulcers to people like tia maria by making them confront a few inconvenient truths about what their Labor heroes did to the country.
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    6:11pm
    PS There's a couple of cold XXXXes (that's so our Queensland friends know I mean beer) in my not too distant future. But can you have beer when you are in a hunger strike? Sorry, I meant XXXX!
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    7:38pm
    I never saw anything in The Hunger Strike Manual against Amber Water ?? :-)
    wally
    13th Feb 2015
    10:33am
    I think the page that says that in my copy of the manual got torn out. Somehow.
    Ming
    10th Feb 2015
    12:22pm
    So what does this commentator suggest, that the taxpayers should pay for everyone to get "free" medical services. Get real!
    Paulodapotter
    10th Feb 2015
    1:11pm
    Yes, and there should be no tertiary fees as well. In fact, justice should be free to all as well. We are one of the most resources rich countries in the world if not the richest with a meagre population of 2 2million, yet we let multinationals rip the heart out of our finances by not demanding partnerships with Australian companies as our neighbours do. We let them pass on paying their fair share of tax. We allow 1% of our population own more than 50% of the wealth without demanding tax so they can share their good fortune with their fellow Australians. We spend money on polluters so they can pollute more and haven't the foresight to see that by encouraging manufacturing and enterprises that will build wealth into the future we can pay for a better quality of life for all. Don't tell me we can't afford a free medical system, you Bourke!
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2015
    3:49pm
    Ming, unfortunately previous governments have instilled into people that the taxpayer is there to pay for everything that people want these days.
    Let's go down the Greek path; the first thing the new Greek president did was raise pensions and reinstate the sacked public servants. Whoopee Doos! Who cares who pays!
    KSS
    10th Feb 2015
    6:16pm
    You are so right Radish (F). Who cares who pays indeed, as long as it is someone else!
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    8:07pm
    I've got a Good Idea !! Put a 7 Dollar Surcharge on Doctors Visits !!
    Oldie84
    10th Feb 2015
    12:54pm
    YaDaYaDaYaDa, God this is so tiresome. :-(
    Polly Esther
    10th Feb 2015
    2:12pm
    yes, you are right, sometimes to the point of being laughable.
    Laughable? no it's not funny sometimes, most times.
    wally
    13th Feb 2015
    10:40am
    Oldie. My prescription for your affliction is to take a Bex, have a cup of tea and have a good lie down. Looking for where you can find where they sell Bex should keep you so busy you will forget all the tiresome stuff that appears here!
    arja
    10th Feb 2015
    1:03pm
    OZ will be no different to the UK where politicians , especially Tory polies like Theresa May and Cameron , who do not even consider what is fair, shows compassion or empathy , or what is right and wrong when formulating policy . It is all about which policy might win more votes at the next election and thus enhance their chances of retaining their cushy grossly overpaid jobs . Doing what is right does not even cross their minds and the anti EU and anti foreigner seems to have taken hold in the UK with so many UKIP supporters who have rocks for brains and are just bigots . Seems that the Abbott government is heading that way too with the huge 50% increase in family visa applications and a spouse visa costs close to $7000 which is hefty sum for a young person who just happens to have a foreign fiancee or spouse. As an OLDIE , i feel so sorry for them as they are an easy target for a government lacking any sense of fair play .
    Paulodapotter
    10th Feb 2015
    1:15pm
    When you have an ideology designed to make the rich richer in the belief we will all benefit, 99% of the population will always be behind the 8 ball while the 1% filthy rich will laugh all the way to the bank.
    Ronner
    10th Feb 2015
    1:18pm
    Thanks to the Government members that opposed Abbott in the vote as we can now hopefully
    benefit from a new direction:)
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    12:50pm
    The new direction will be West by North South !! :-)
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    6:22pm
    Too right Ronner.

    Tony said good government started on Monday, and we all know Tony never lies.
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    1:54pm
    So the AMA thinks the Government should use taxpayer funds to fix Medicare. No surprises there.

    So where is the money supposed to come from? Which "Peter" do we rob to pay the Medicare "Paul"? If it were not for Labor's over extravagant spending that led to the current government being obliged to pay $11 Billion annually to meet the interest payment caused by Labor, that $11 Billion could be spent in Australia "fixing" Medicare. Labor's obstinate refusal to assist the government's efforts to save money and redirect money to pay off that debt in the Senate will mean less money is available for a host of projects, including Medicare.

    So let's vote Shorten in as PM in 2016 and prolong the agony that Labor set in train for us when Kevin07 and Julia were in government. In a democracy, you vote and get what you deserve.
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2015
    3:51pm
    I would love to see Shorten back in next time around and see what his answers to the problems are. So far we have heard nothing but eventually whe will have to tell us what his policies are.
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    9:57pm
    The trouble with that is Australia would be stuck with Shorten for 3 years.
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    3:07pm
    And Your not Longen for it !! :-(
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    6:14pm
    And that's the Longen and the Shorten of it! Gawd I just luv a bad pun!
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    6:28pm
    Wally, as much as you love a bad government? (which ended on Monday, according to Tony)
    wally
    14th Feb 2015
    2:38pm
    Hawkeye, are you suggesting that you prefer a worse government like Labor from 2007 to-2013?
    Reeper
    10th Feb 2015
    1:57pm
    What needs to be not only clear, but also understood, is that Medicare is a fiscal disaster. No government, ALP or Coalition is responsible as such. What any government is responsible for is to ensure it does not fail which it will by as soon as 2020. I have read some other comments submitted so far and as usual the usual donkeys are there not addressing Medicare, but their usual drivel on Abbott this and Abbott that. Some have actually recognised that if we want Medicare to survive we are going to have to pay for it and the Coalition has had the balls to say so.
    It's simple, if you want Medicare then accept a few extra dollars a week is the only way....unless Medicare can win the lottery???
    Paulodapotter
    10th Feb 2015
    4:09pm
    This is a very narrow view of options available. Increases in the Medicare levy on the rich and multinational companies operating is Australia along with levies on pharmaceutical companies are other options which have been ignored because THAT requires balls. We should all pay for a Medicare system so that we all have access to free medical help which becomes paramount for the aged. What are we, if we can't look after our elderly? We can further bolster our very robust private health system which can help further relieve the demand on our Medicare system. Large, companies should be encouraged to provide private health for its employees as a further boost as they do in many overseas countries. We must stop crying "poor". We are one of the richest countries on this earth.
    Mar
    10th Feb 2015
    2:13pm
    Was in a health fund for fifty years. HAd to pull out when my husband died, couldn't afford it on single pension. Since then, had a fall, had a shoulder replacement and had to put up with chronic pain for two years before recent surgery. Now, could never afford to get back in. Have used emergency ambulance 3 times in past year. Spending hours ramped up and in emergency. The public health system has gone down, down, down. It should be made more affordable for Pensioners to be in private health. When they need it most they have to get out of it, often after years of payments. We have been let down badly by both government parties.
    Paulodapotter
    10th Feb 2015
    4:20pm
    Increases in the Medicare levy on the rich and multinational companies operating is Australia along with levies on pharmaceutical companies are options which have been ignored as a means of paying for our health budget. We should all pay for a Medicare system so that we all have access to free medical help which becomes paramount for the aged. What are we, if we can't look after our elderly? We can further bolster our very robust private health system which can help further relieve the demand on our Medicare system. Large, companies should be encouraged to provide private health for its employees as a further boost as they do in many overseas countries. We must stop crying "poor". We are one of the richest countries on this earth and we can afford to look after people like Mar and no doubt me in the not too distant future. I'm happy to pay more, but not as a co-payment.
    arja
    10th Feb 2015
    2:26pm
    Wally - I was a lifelong Tory in UK until I started to realise what scum they are and lacking in empathy or compassion even imposing a bedroom tax on the poor and invalids while giving a tax break to their rich friends . i suspect that Tony Abbott and his "tory" government are similar and in fact I hear the same kind of rhwetoric in their comments . i am ashamed to admit that I was a Tory !
    wally
    13th Feb 2015
    10:53am
    We shouldn't dwell or obsess on past mistakes. Neither should we let the preconceptions we bring with us colour our views of what we find going on now. Do not use political labels to tar others with the same brush unless you can actually see that comparisons (and tarrings) are justified.
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    6:32pm
    Wally, did Peta write that little spiel for you?
    I find it quite inCredinable.
    wally
    14th Feb 2015
    2:41pm
    Hawkeye, I'd believe that you'd find the truth too incredible for you to comprehend.
    Mar
    10th Feb 2015
    2:30pm
    It's not just Medicare, it's not just Abbott. It's the whole kit and caboodle. Rays right, it's in their DNA.
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    2:59pm
    Dumb Narcissism Attitude ?? :-)
    Precious 1
    10th Feb 2015
    2:53pm
    Morning....Mr Tony Abbott is a decent man and a great citizen for our country....I find the problem is he not a good public speaker...and that's about it....A man needs a very direct and meaningful voice to really get it across to the public...I`m sure if this was addressed things and people would feel a terrific amount more confident regarding him being our Prime Minister....One man stands out above all the rest Liberal Leader John Howard...and the other one is Obama president of the United States of America........
    Precious 1
    10th Feb 2015
    3:01pm
    PS to my comment...Women play an enormous role in making decisive remarks both in Fashion. clothing, Handsome features in the opposite sex etc etc give us some credit we DO care what is going on out there....
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    3:01pm
    The Medical Help Blog is on another Page !! :-)
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2015
    4:09pm
    A decent man and a great citizen??? you've got to be joking!! Abbott is a piece of scum, a self serving piece of scum, leading a band of other self-serving scum. Worst PM ever! He should have become a priest instead of a politician because he's great at screwing the public.
    bebby
    10th Feb 2015
    5:06pm
    Precious 1. I do agree TA is not a good public speaker, however it is the promises he makes and breaks that makes him a pathetic speaker, not the way he delivers.
    Please do not forget the way he abused the last female PM and called her a liar..
    Classic case of Pot/Kettle.
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2015
    5:13pm
    You certainly seem like a person easily impressed....

    Have no idea what you're on about with the fashion, clothing, handsome features in the opposite sex bizzo - maybe I've missed something...
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    7:26pm
    May be a Three Omego's fan ? :-)
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    6:46pm
    I got the giggles when you called it a man. And it only got worse.
    Then came the bit about women making decisive remarks in "fashion, clothing, handsome features, etc"
    Precious1, have you just traveled here from the 1950's? If so, can I borrow your TARDIS to do a few errands?
    tisme
    10th Feb 2015
    3:18pm
    good government ?? according to what definition?? housing for aussies who need it ?? recognition that unpaid carers are workers?? support for carers when they get sick ??
    As doc phil says the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    7:30pm
    It Worked !!
    Stop the Votes and no More Carbon !!
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    6:48pm
    Good one Parti
    bandy
    10th Feb 2015
    3:34pm
    I think the man to be very wary of is Morrison a snake in the grass if I ever saw one.Just an observer.

    10th Feb 2015
    4:12pm
    Nothing would give me confidence in this administration, too many lies, leopards don't change their spots. They are probably already thinking up new ways of screwing us over
    Paulodapotter
    10th Feb 2015
    4:28pm
    They firmly believe in the IPA manifesto of privatising everything and pandering to the fossil fuel lobby and multinationals. This is their meal ticket for staying in power. They will not tell you directly because they know it would be anathema to the bulk of Australians, so they HAVE to lie to get their way. They believe they are born to rule and the people they represent must be manipulated for them to succeed in staying in power. They will bunch us around issues such security like flies around a t..d to keep us on side. They appeal to the lowest common denominator because they know they are too ignorant to recognise when they are being screwed like the young soldiers they send off to illegal and unwinnable wars.
    Paulodapotter
    10th Feb 2015
    4:54pm
    The conservatives have been doing this ever since Menzies and they are unlikely to change. Conservatives don't change. Why do you think they made an issue out of refugees coming to this country by boat when more were coming by air? Why do you think they lied about the red devil pouring down from Vietnam forcing the nationalists into the arms of the Russians. Why did they lie about Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction? Why have they played up the threat of terrorism in this country? The police accidentally kill more innocent or mentally ill people than terrorists are likely to kill in this country. But if we keep rubbing the fundamentalist Moslem sore, we will cause more innocent deaths. Conservatives love strife. It keeps the masses together under their banner. They are well schooled in the art. They've been doing it for decades and we fall for it hook, line and sinker. Once it was communists, now its Moslems. As PT Barnham so succinctly put it, "There's a sucker born every minute!"
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    9:32pm
    For once, I agree with trod about leopards not changing their spots. Unfortunately many of the people responding to this forum want a return to Labor in 2016. What will Labor do about cleaning up the financial mess their overspending caused and landed Australia so deeply in debt to China? Are they going to continue to deny that they are responsible for their borrowing to fund their extravagance and waste? What will Bill Shorten and Co, do about it? Does he have a plan? Does he even have a clue? How long will China wait to be paid? When will the International Monetary Fund and Standard and Poore knock Australia off their triple A rating for financial responsibility as Australia joins Greece, Italy. and Portugal as having defaulted on repaying their debt?
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    10:14pm
    I think Ill go and have a couple of Screw Drivers before Bed ?? :-)
    pate
    10th Feb 2015
    5:42pm
    SORRY FOR THE CONFUSION REGarding what i said about it was just a nurse. The point was that my daughter was a nurse aND WAS QUESTIONING WHO HAD SENT ME HOME & WAS TOLD "tHE dOCTOR IN cHarge" Note that the hospital deliberately lied when they said a doctor had done it. That's what my daughter & I complained about!!
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    6:18pm
    You're forgiven. After all, most of us that visit this site are confused, So no real harm has been caused by a little more confusion!
    Mar
    10th Feb 2015
    6:55pm
    Leon, it's unbelievable! Both sides, in Parliament today still berating cynicism, undermining each other, making a joke of the whole unfortunate debacle that is Australian Government. NO policy making or dealing with the underlying issues that are affecting so much of the population. NO PROGRESS. Where is change? It was more of the same on both sides. Sickening! The Government should be what's scrapped!
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    7:54pm
    I thought that too ?? I wonder who's winning this Water Melon Seed Spitting Competition ??
    wally
    14th Feb 2015
    2:44pm
    The winner is the one who has the fewest watermelon seeds sticking tho them.
    Blossom
    10th Feb 2015
    9:31pm
    Many people will delay going to the local GP if they continue to charge extra. They will waill wait until they are really sick and go to emergency depts. That will cost the Govt. even more. Can't they see that???? A lot of doctors don't bulk bill any more. If you are a self funded retiree you get no other Govt. benefits at all. Why did I save so hard to support myself? I should have done what a big % have, spent it on things I didn't even need. They need to fit Govt. Hospital funding to Local Govts.too. The Govt. expects us to support events that they put money into - people in poor health can't go.
    wally
    10th Feb 2015
    9:44pm
    What are the people doing with the money saved from having the carbon tax lifted? Are they using it to defray the cost of GP visits? Or are they spending it on things they do not need?
    particolor
    10th Feb 2015
    9:59pm
    What Money from Carbon Tax Lift ??? My last Bill and the one before was no Different !! The CEO of the Power Bill Company must have gone on a World Trip with it ?? Ill ask Mick if He saw The Jerk on the Ship ? :-)
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    12:06pm
    " Just think of how much more you would be paying for electricity if the Carbon Tax was still in place!" Or so we are told. Maybe the people that run the power companies are smarter than out politicians in government, if that is where the tax savings money wound up. Maybe Tony & Co can figure out how to get the tax savings out of the power companies and stop the power companies from jacking up the cost of electricity so we don't wind up getting screwed again. I live in Hope.
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    12:31pm
    I wanna know why I'm paying as much for the Wires Hanging off the Shack as I'm paying for Power USED ?? :-(
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    6:20pm
    Try cutting down the power poles and see if that reduces your power bill!
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    7:56pm
    That was a For Instance Wal !! We have Underground Power here so what's this Availability bit all about ? The powers going past here whether I use some or not ?..
    Maybe its 150 Bucks a Quarter Halal Fee ?? :-< They learnt that Somewhere ??
    vincent
    10th Feb 2015
    11:01pm
    The costings of medicare are way out of line. The problem is that everything goes into consolidated revenue and al the pollies and interested parties get their snout in the through.
    It Is not only Medicare but also fuel levies, they are not allocated to be spend where they were raised for. Take ie The Netherlands, health funds have always been private, the government does not run hospitals or public housing or owns any utilities like power generation.The way you pay for your fund is related to your income, basically in 2014 the employer contributed 7.75% and the employee 5.4% of the gross income.A health fund can not refuse any person by law.And the treatments are the same standard for everyone, no public or private hospital system. there are variations in this and you can choose to have a higher excess to lower your premiums, Choice of doctor is yours but you can get a lower premium if you choose to get treatment from the doctors that have a contract with the health fund you are in.One thing is fair that you pay according to earning capacity.
    As you can see it is not cheap but everything is included dental and glasses.This is only a summary not a full document, but it could be a starting point for a discussion.
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    12:36pm
    I don't think Teeth and Eyes are Part of the Human Body ?? Well the Medicare People don't anyhow !!
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    12:38pm
    But apparently they have Chewed on it in Holland and had a Good Look at it ?? :-)
    wally
    13th Feb 2015
    10:45am
    Julia canned the free dental program for people with chronic afflictions because she said she thought that rich people were taking advantage of it so it had to be cancelled. I wonder if she was planning to use the money she'd saved by cancelling this program to put life vests in the people smuggler boats.
    Supernan
    11th Feb 2015
    2:28pm
    Recently spent 10 hrs with hubby in emergency. Watched Drs, Nurses almost running to cope with very sick patients, while borrowing equipment, working past meal breaks & long past end of shift. He & others waited in the corridor with Ambulance crew, then was moved around 3 times in various parts of emergency, due to lack of beds. So we experienced first hand the result of Campbell Newmann's sacking of 60,000 nurses & support staff. Its called "streamlining" health care. Having Health Insurance doesn't help in Emergency.

    The Qld LNP politicians have been bragging about how wonderful Qld health system has become under their watch ! Well guess what, our Drs & Nurse still are amazing, they saved my husbands life. BUT they should not have to work under such conditions. A couple of years working like that & they'll be so burnt out, they'll quit & take all that expensive training elsewhere.

    Once in admitted to the Private Hospital, thanks to our expensive insurance, conditions were better. Good food, private bathroom, window, BUT. The nursing situation was still the same - understaffed, overworked ! Because in the Private hospital its all about profit !

    Once it was all about getting people well, now its all about money, whether its Public or Private Health
    Supernan
    11th Feb 2015
    2:36pm
    Re Medicare Changes - we were speaking to our GP, a man in his early 60's. He told us that if Medicare changes go ahead, he & over 60 other GP Drs in our area plan to quit practice & retire. Its just too expensive & too much hassle to change all their computer system, train their staff, notify all their patients, etc.
    Did Mr Abbott consider a shortage of Drs in his plans ? ? ? ? Cant get a Dr ? Where do you go ? Emergency ! !
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    2:45pm
    Doctor Doctor do come Quick !! I think The Guvmint has made Me Sick !! :-(
    wally
    11th Feb 2015
    6:34pm
    Maybe we will get boatloads of doctors coming in to Australia to make up the Short(en)fall!
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    8:00pm
    I wish they would Curry up and send them ! There's a Medicine Man Shortage here !!
    Young
    11th Feb 2015
    6:36pm
    Unless the government is allowed to rein in spending ,be it via health or whatever,we will ALL be worse off in the future.
    Oldie84
    12th Feb 2015
    6:43pm
    Hi Browny, I am afraid you are wasting your efforts here.

    :-(
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    1:05pm
    "WHOOO!! Neddy !!" "Look at that Mess on the Road in front of us ! That LABOR Elephant did that !! :-( Well have to find a way around it !!"....

    11th Feb 2015
    7:41pm
    Abbot like most politicians are highly educated except in common sense .
    particolor
    11th Feb 2015
    8:05pm
    They are thinking of sending them all to TAFE ! As soon as they work out the New Rip Off Fees !! :->
    Taffy
    12th Feb 2015
    5:32pm
    The P.M. and most of his front-benchers are inept and all should go!
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    8:01pm
    WHERE ? :-)
    carmencita
    12th Feb 2015
    9:29pm
    We have a health care system that works and even better than the US. What this government wants done is to demolish a system that assist those who needed most in the guise of fixing the budget deficit. On the other hand, the same government wants to hand over 25 billion dollars to other country to build our submarines because it does not have confidence on our own industry. Isn't this illogical, ironical and blatantly stupid? Do we really have stupid people running this country who are only protecting their own personal interests rather than the people of Australia?
    particolor
    12th Feb 2015
    10:22pm
    White Canes and Seeing Eye Dogs would have been Cheaper !!
    wally
    14th Feb 2015
    2:47pm
    Only if you can teach the seeing eye dogs to eat the canes.
    Hawkeye
    13th Feb 2015
    6:25pm
    Wasn't Abbott the Health Minister that buggered up Medicare under Howard?
    particolor
    13th Feb 2015
    10:21pm
    Yes and then He got Ambitious !! :-)


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