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Although the Coalition is largely associated with this issue, Labor first introduced the Medicare rebate freeze in 2013 as a ‘temporary’ measure. AAP/Joel Carrett

Confused about the Medicare rebate freeze? Here’s what you need to know

Labor will lift the rebate freeze from 2017, while under the Coalition, GPs will be paid the same amount for delivering health services in 2020 as they were in 2014. So what does this mean for patients?
AMA president Brian Owler said the decision to outsource production was financial, describing the publisher’s financial position as “perilous”. Lukas Coch/AAP

Former editor: outsourcing puts Medical Journal of Australia at risk

The recent decision to outsource production of the journal to international publishing company Elsevier – and the route it took to get there – made my position untenable.
AMA chief Brian Owler said that instead of putting the public hospital sector on a sustainable footing, the federal government had retreated from its responsibilities. AAP/Lukas Coch

AMA’s ‘bleak’ outlook for hospitals strengthens premiers’ case on funding

An Australian Medical Association report showing the nation's public hospitals face a funding "black hole" because of the federal government's cuts gives premiers strong ammunition for their Friday meeting with Tony Abbott.
Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton announce changes to the government’s GP co- payment policy. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Back to the future with Coalition attacks on Medicare bulk billing

In the government’s latest “scraping away the barnacles” of unpopular and blocked policies, prime minister Tony Abbott and health minister Peter Dutton have announced they’re abandoning the plan to have…
Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott have presented a less controversial Medicare co-payment that should be easier to sell to the public. AAP/Lukas Coch

Co-payment compromise puts extra burden on doctors

The government has stepped back from its A$7 proposed co-payment for visiting the GP but still aims to skin the Medicare cat, putting the onus on doctors to send a $5 price signal to non-concessional patients…
Paediatricians says children’s trauma is compounded when they are placed in mandatory detention. Australian Human Rights Commission/AAP

Paediatricians say mandatory detention is child abuse

More than 80% of Australian paediatricians believe mandatory detention of asylum seeker children constitutes child abuse…
Medicines Australia code of conduct for pharmaceutical companies has attracted a large number of negative submissions. hobvias sudoneighm/Flickr

Pharmaceutical industry code of conduct fails to find favour

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is considering whether to approve the latest Medicines Australia code of conduct for pharmaceutical companies. The code lays out disclosure requirements…
The AMA proposal would wipe out 97% of the government’s $3.5bn savings. Newzulu/AAP

AMA co-pay plan: protecting the poor and GPs’ bottom line

Bulk billing without restrictions has been a feature of the Australian health system since the introduction of Medicare in 1984. It is particularly important in general practice, as it means any Australian…
The medical establishment needs to acknowledge that people can worry themselves sick about wind turbines. Terence Doust/Wikimedia Commons

Wind farm reviews are pointless if they leave out anxiety illness

The Australian Medical Association has released a statement once again affirming that there is no evidence that wind farms harm human health. Geoffrey Dobb, chair of the AMA’s Public Health Committee…
The current debate obscures the much larger question of why doctors need to receive “tea and biscuits” from pharmaceutical companies at all. Yortw/Flickr

Forget tea and biscuits, why should doctors get any gifts from pharma companies?

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and medical specialist groups are currently debating public disclosure of gifts received by doctors from pharmaceutical companies. The bone of contention is how…

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