AMA Pre-Budget Submission calls for strong investment in health
The AMA is urging the Government to use the May Budget to invest strongly in the future of the Australian health system to meet growing and changing demand from an ageing population and a surge in chronic and complex conditions, which is afflicting more and more Australians.
AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said this week that the Government must put a stop to its policies of funding cuts and program cuts, and instead invest heavily in the health system, making public hospitals, primary care, and prevention the centrepiece of its election-year Budget.
“The first steps in the next Health Budget must be to lift the Medicare patient rebate freeze, reverse the cuts to pathology and radiology, and restore public hospital funding to proper levels. The Government cannot be allowed to retreat from its responsibilities in funding and managing the core elements of health care delivery in Australia,” Professor Owler said.
He added that Australia’s health spending is not out of control, as claimed by the Government to justify its savage 2014 and 2015 health Budgets, with total health expenditure reducing as a percentage of the total Commonwealth Budget from 18.09 per cent in the 2006-07 Budget to 15.97 per cent of the total in the 2015-16 Budget.