Government must strengthen the 'pillars' of the health system

7 Feb 2012

AMA Federal Budget Submission 2012-13

The AMA is calling on the Federal Government to use the May Budget to strengthen the ‘pillars’ of the Australian health system at a time when the world is entering a phase of economic uncertainty.

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today that in hard times it is important for governments to strengthen those parts of the health system that will provide the greatest benefit to patients and the community.

“There is every indication that this will be a frugal Budget across the board, but health funding must not go backwards,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The ‘pillars’ of the health system – the parts that work well and which patients and communities rely on – must be recognised and funded accordingly in the Budget,” Dr Hambleton said.

“General practice, public hospitals and the medical workforce must be looked after.

“When people are sick or injured or need ongoing quality health advice, they want to see a GP.

“When they have been involved in an accident or require surgery, they want the comfort of knowing that quality professional care is available at a properly staffed and resourced hospital.

“Australia needs both a strong private sector and a well-funded public sector to deliver effective health care.

“We need to provide the right care at the right time in the right place.  This means that services for aged care, mental health, and chronic disease also need appropriate funding and well-targeted policies.

“People need to be encouraged to do more about their own health and wellbeing, particularly in regard to obesity, smoking and alcohol.  Preventive health programs must be supported,” Dr Hambleton said.

The AMA is also urging the Government for action in the key areas of Indigenous Health, Climate Change and Health, Health and Medical Research, and the proposed electronic health record.

The AMA Federal Budget Submission 2012-13 is available at

7 February 2012

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                        Kirsty Waterford                  02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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