Australian Medical Association's

Vision for Australia's Health

The Australian Medical Association's vision for reorganising the health system to face the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities of the future.

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President's Introduction

Dr Omar Khorshid

Dr Omar Khorshid

Federal AMA President

Health reform in this country is sorely needed, and long overdue.

If the Australian health system is to evolve, then it needs to be reorganised to tackle the challenges of the future. We cannot expect an underfunded system to absorb the late-stage complications of an ageing, chronically ill and obese society. Already our hospitals, especially our emergency departments, are over-stretched. We cannot keep doing things the same way.

It is realistic for Australia to become the healthiest country in the world, and that should be our collective aim.

We cannot expect to manage the increasing chronic disease burden if we do not engage earlier in prevention and appropriately fund integrated general practitioner medical homes, as the foundation for improved care co-ordination across the entire health system. Seminal in this will be the effective adoption of innovative technologies and an emphasis on quality models of care where safety and clinical appropriateness protect patients.

The beginning point of all reform should be safe, high-quality, patient-centred care.

We must engage our patients in their own healthcare and improve health literacy. We must invest in our medical practitioners to ensure appropriately funded, efficient, evidence-based practice is at the heart of any new approach to healthcare.

Investment requires vision and ethical commitment. We must invest now to correct critical deficiencies within the Australian healthcare system. Failure to do so will translate into suboptimal outcomes and declining quality of life and access for Australians in the future.

Drawing upon the expertise of our broad member base, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) is uniquely positioned to identify and understand systemic issues in the healthcare system that cut across preventative health, General Practice, public and private healthcare. Members provide advice and make policy through committees, state AMAs, and Federal Council; our vision is a product of that significant effort and expertise.

The AMA’s Vision for Australia’s Health represents a clear blueprint for all Governments, and players in the system, built around five pillars of detailed policy reform.

For too long, health reform has been stagnant or piecemeal. The AMA believes now is the time for a comprehensive plan to be put forward, funded and implemented. The AMA stands ready to lead reforms in these areas and is eager to partner with other organisations, providers, and individuals. Our health system has responded to the immediate threat of COVID-19, while continuing to deliver care. Now is the time for Government to respond and future proof it for the challenges ahead.

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9 June 2021

Health Context

Australia’s response to COVID-19 has been rapid, and largely successful. Our success owes a lot to our dedicated doctors and nurses, but equally, the Australian community.

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Economic Context

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a critical reminder of the importance of health investment as the best spend a government can make for its people, and its economy.

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Medical Profession Context and Impact on Patients

The reforms in this document are designed to improve the operation of the health system for patient and practitioner alike.

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doctor and patient

Campaigning for changes

AMA's vision for a healthy Australia depends on major reforms to our health and aged care systems.

Learn how the AMA is campaigning for changes

Policy Pillars

The AMA's Vision for Australia's Health represents a clear blueprint for all Governments, and players in the system, build around five pillars of detailed policy reform.

Pillar 1

General Practice

Integrated, multi-disciplinary GP led patient-centred medical homes, underpinned by increased funding and focused on managing chronic and/or complex disease.

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Pillar 2

Public hospitals

An evolved and adequately funded public hospital sector, providing for timelier elective and emergency treatment and greater linkages to primary care.

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Pillar 3

Private health

A reinvigorated, resilient and sustainable private health system, which complements the public system by providing high-quality, timely and affordable care.

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Pillar 4

A health system for all

A sustainable health system achieved via policy and funding reform with a focus on prevention and access for all Australians.

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Pillar 5

A health system for the future

A system that embraces new technology, data and innovation, and consolidates the gains from COVID-19 reforms.

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