Nov 22, 2012

Coalition plan to hack into Medicare Locals unwinds reform

Medical experts are concerned any move by the Coalition to scrap Medicare Local operations will unwind important primary healthcare reform. Health journalist Mark Metherell reports.

The Coalition’s plan to hack into an estimated 3000 employed in federal Labor’s grassroots health scheme is shaping as a crunch issue at the election. At stake is the fate of the 61 Medicare Locals, established in every corner of Australia to crank up primary health care and reduce demand for hospital treatment.

The Coalition is pitching its promise as part of a program to slash what it says is bloated public spending on health bureaucracies. But it courts a potential backlash from communities, some in marginal electorates, already growing used to Medicare Locals.

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One thought on “Coalition plan to hack into Medicare Locals unwinds reform

  1. Salamander

    The Opposition is working together with the psychiatric lobby – medical shrinks who are worried about competition to their entrenched monopoly on fee-for-service medicine. Medicare Locals and the Better Access program represents a competitive threat to the monopolists’ prosperity.

    The Federal Opposition, spurred on by this psychiatric/medical lobby, is trying to dismantle the recent Govt schemes that enable psychologists – the non-medical shrinks who specialise in non-drug treatments – to finally have some limited access to Medicare rebates for their patients.

    The monopolist lobby likes to portray their own campaign as a fight for equity or some such (how ironic!) and includes Prof Ian Hickie of Sydney University Mind Brain Institute and colleagues (who have had articles published in past issues of Crikey).

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