Media Releases 2014

59 documents.
Title Date
New Health Minister another boost for rural health sector
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says the appointment of the regionally-based Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley MP, as the new Federal Health Minister is a significant and welcome one for rural doctors and the rural health sector. “Together with the Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, Minister Ley will bring to the role a first-hand understanding of the key issues impacting on access to healthcare in the bush, and of the inequities that rural Australians suffer in comparison with their city counterparts when it comes to accessing healthcare locally” RDAA President, Professor Dennis Pashen, said. “The appointment of Minister Ley is yet another positive indication that the Federal Government genuinely wants to improve access to healthcare for rural and remote Australians."
23/12/2014
Medicare changes to impact on rural Australians
Rural doctors are uniting behind the request for the Federal Government to carefully consider the consequences that recently announced Medicare changes will have on the bush. Prof Dennis Pashen, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), said that the combined impact of the changes could ultimately affect access to services; the ability of communities to recruit and retain doctors; and the sustainability of rural practices. “Rural communities are already mostly doing it hard. Collectively, they are less affluent than metropolitan areas, have higher burdens of disease; poorer access to services and increased health care costs,” Dr Pashen said.
19/12/2014
Co-payment proposal better, but still areas of concern
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says while some of the changes announced as part of the Federal Government’s revised co-payment proposal are welcome, there are still significant underlying concerns about the impact of the proposal as a whole on rural patients and rural doctors.
10/12/2014
Rural doctors welcome teaching infrastructure funding for country general practices
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the roll-out by the Federal Government of a new funding program to assist rural general practices to take on more medical trainees and GP registrars. The Federal Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, issued a media statement on Friday urging rural and regional general practices to apply for funding under the Government’s new Rural and Remote Teaching Infrastructure Grants program. Grants of up to $300,000 are available to help practices expand their facilities, with the general practice to provide matching funding.
08/12/2014
Rural doctors welcome expert panel on rural medical workforce incentives
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed an announcement by the Federal Government of an Independent Expert Panel to consult on how the General Practice Rural Incentives Programme (GPRIP) can best encourage doctors to towns in rural, regional and remote areas where they are most needed. The panel has been appointed to review, consult and report back to the Government on the application of the new Modified Monash Model (MMM) classification system to the GPRIP, and on the value of junior doctors having exposure to rural practice.
02/12/2014
RDASA media release -- Rural doctors voice contract concerns
The Rural Doctors Association of South Australia (RDASA) has voiced significant concerns about the industrial agreement that will be offered today to rural General Practitioners (GPs) providing services at Country Health SA Local Health Network (CHSA LHN) hospitals. This new three-year agreement covers working conditions for rural GPs working as independent medical contractors (or Visiting Medical Officers) at Country Health SA hospitals. Despite prolonged consultation with CHSA LHN since February 2014, RDASA believes that the proposed agreement does not adequately support rural GPs in the provision of care to their rural communities.
25/11/2014
RDAT media release -- Rural generalist doctors the solution for Tasmania
The Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania (RDAT) has welcomed comments by Tasmania’s Health Minister, Michael Ferguson MP, of his vision for a health system ‘which is much more responsive to the needs of patients, giving them access to better services and equal access regardless of where they live’. The Minister’s comments were published in last weekend’s Sunday Tasmanian newspaper. President of the Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania, Professor Dennis Pashen, said this vision could be achieved in rural Tasmania through the introduction of a rural generalist training program and the provision of a sustainable workforce of rural generalist doctors.
25/11/2014
Coalition gives bush a boost with bonded medical student reforms
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed an announcement by the Federal Assistant Health Minister, Senator Fiona Nash, that the Bonded Medical Places (BMP) scheme will be changed to allow any bonded medical student to fulfil their return of service obligation in all remote areas and in small towns in inner and outer regional areas with a population of less than 15,000 people, regardless of whether those areas have been classified as Districts of Workforce Shortage — vastly increasing the number of locations in which they can provide services as much-needed doctors.
20/11/2014
Minister’s commitment on rural exposure for junior doctors welcomed
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed a commitment by the Federal Assistant Health Minister, Senator Fiona Nash, that an expert panel will consider initiatives to ensure junior doctors can continue to experience the rewarding nature of rural general practice. The Minister’s comments, made at RDAA and ACRRM’s recent Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14) conference, come after the Federal Government announced earlier this year it will scrap the highly-successful Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) at the end of 2014. RDAA has long argued that exposure to rural general practice for junior doctors is critical, given this is often when they are making key long-term decisions about the direction their medical career will take.
17/11/2014
Colleges collaborate to shape the future of GP training
Australia’s two specialist medical colleges in the specialty of general practice are working together to forge the future of GP training in Australia. At a unique forum convened recently to discuss changes to general practice training arrangements, representatives from the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and a senior representative from the Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) spoke about the future of GP training in Australia. The Rural Training Forum, hosted by ACRRM and held in Sydney late last month, was convened as a result of changes to GP training arrangements announced in this year’s federal budget. It was attended by over one hundred participants.
11/11/2014
UGPA media release -- General practice leaders welcome Government announcement on rural health policy
Australia’s peak general practice coalition, United General Practice Australia (UGPA), welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to rural health policy changes announced last week. Announced at the Rural Medicine Australia 2014 conference by Assistant Health Minister, Senator The Hon. Fiona Nash, the move reflects long standing priorities for UGPA.
05/11/2014
Dedicated South Australian medical student receives national award
Fourth year medical student and Aboriginal health advocate, Laura Sharley, who is studying medicine at the University of Adelaide, has been named the Telstra RDAA Medical Student of the Year. Awarded at a gala dinner on Saturday night in Sydney, as part of the national rural doctors conference, Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14), Laura was recognised for her strong interest in rural medicine and dedication to Aboriginal health. RMA14 is the annual national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
02/11/2014
Kimberley based doctor awarded Rural Registrar of the Year
Dr Sally Singleton, originally from Canberra and now based in Broome, has been recognised for her leadership, advocacy, hard work and dedication, being awarded the Telstra RDAA-ACRRM Rural Registrar of the Year. The Award was announced during a gala dinner held in Sydney on Saturday night as part of Rural Medicine Australia 2014, the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM). Assoc Professor Lucie Walters, newly elected ACRRM President, said she was delighted to be recognising a young doctor for her outstanding clinical work, her dedication to her patients and her colleagues and her enthusiasm for remote medicine and Aboriginal health.
02/11/2014
Tamworth GP and rural health advocate awarded Rural Doctor of the Year
Dr Jenny May from Tamworth has been recognised for her remarkable contribution to rural health on a local, regional and national level, being named the Telstra RDAA Rural Doctor of the Year. Dr May has worked as a GP for nearly 25 years, while at the same time teaching, conducting research and taking on leadership roles within the rural medical community. She was presented with the award during a gala dinner held in Sydney on Saturday night as part of Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14), the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
02/11/2014
New leadership for peak rural doctors group
A new President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) was elected today, at the Association’s AGM held in Sydney. Tasmanian Dr Dennis Pashen said he was looking forward to taking on the challenge in what looks to be an exciting year ahead. “It is going to be a really positive year to be President of RDAA,” Dr Pashen said.
01/11/2014
Saturday at Rural Medicine Australia 2014 — the peak annual conference for rural doctors
Saturday at Rural Medicine Australia 2014 — the peak annual conference for rural doctors.
31/10/2014
Telehealth and eHealth in rural and remote Australia — challenges and opportunities to be considered at peak rural doctor conference
Developing a shared vision for telehealth services in rural and remote Australia will be a key aim of an important telehealth workshop being held today, Friday 31 October, at the Rural Medicine Australia (RMA14) conference in Sydney. RMA14 is the peak annual conference for rural doctors across Australia, and is convened by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA).
30/10/2014
Friday at Rural Medicine Australia 2014 — the peak annual conference for rural doctors
Friday at Rural Medicine Australia 2014 — the peak annual conference for rural doctors.
30/10/2014
Thursday at Rural Medicine Australia 2014 — the peak annual conference for rural doctors
Thursday at Rural Medicine Australia 2014 — the peak annual conference for rural doctors.
29/10/2014
Great line-up of keynote speakers for peak rural medical conference
An exceptional group of international and Australian keynote speakers will appear at the peak annual rural medical conference, Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14), starting in Sydney tomorrow (Thursday). They will discuss issues ranging from how healthcare will be delivered most effectively in future decades to how critical decision-making in the face of adverse situations can impact on doctors and their patients in rural and remote practice. All keynotes are speaking at RMA14 tomorrow (Thursday).
29/10/2014
Media reminder -- Peak rural doctor conference to host major GP training forum -- tomorrow (Wednesday) in Sydney
This week’s Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14) conference will bring together key medical sector groups to inform the transition to a new general practice training model in Australia, following changes announced in this year’s federal budget. The key people and organisations involved in the transition to the new general practice training environment will be participating in the major Rural Training Forum tomorrow (Wednesday 29 October) – prior to the opening of RMA14 in Sydney.
28/10/2014
Life support, emergency skills & a city stampede: Australia’s peak rural doctor conference begins in Sydney this week!
Australia’s peak annual national conference for rural doctors, Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14), begins this week in Sydney. Around 700 delegates from all corners of the country — including rural doctors, interns, medical students, other health professionals and stakeholders — will participate in this major conference. While the conference begins formally on Thursday 30 October, a special one-day forum is being held this Wednesday at which key medical stakeholder groups will consider the new environment for general practice training in Australia following announcements in this year’s federal budget, and the opportunities and challenges it presents in producing the rural medical workforce that Australia needs.
27/10/2014
Peak rural doctor conference to host major GP training forum
Next week’s Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14) conference will bring together key medical sector groups to inform the transition to a new general practice training model in Australia, following changes announced in this year’s federal budget. The key people and organisations involved in the transition to the new general practice training environment will be participating in the major Rural Training Forum next Wednesday 29 October – prior to the opening of RMA14 in Sydney.
23/10/2014
Lower life expectancy and poorer cancer survival — a continuing dark cloud over rural Australians
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is urging the federal and state governments to heed yet more evidence that rural, remote and Indigenous Australians continue to fall far behind their urban counterparts in terms of life expectancy and cancer survival.
21/10/2014
Rural GPs need a checkup too, RMA14 presenter to remind doctor delegates
Doctors attending Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14) next week will be reminded about the importance of looking after themselves, as well as their patients. Dr Roger Sexton, a rural GP in South Australia, has spent many years working on programs to help doctors take care of themselves – something that he says a significant number are very bad at.
20/10/2014
Sydney ready to host peak rural doctor conference
Rural doctors from across Australia have booked their tickets to Sydney, for the Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA14) in just two weeks time. RMA14 is the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), and the peak national event for Australia’s bush doctors.
16/10/2014
Government funds Disney instead of rural health
Rural doctors are perplexed that the Australian Government will spend $21.6 million on attracting production of the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, but won’t invest less than that amount on attracting junior doctors to rural medical practice. Dr Ian Kamerman, President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), said the Government’s lack of interest in investing in successful rural medical training programs has been disappointing. “We have been asking the Government for the continuation of a highly successful general practice placement program that attracted many young doctors into rural practice, only for them to say there isn’t enough money to fund it,” Dr Kamerman said.
02/10/2014
Rural doctor named Woman of Influence
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has congratulated Dr Sheilagh Cronin, Immediate Past President of RDAA, on being named in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. Dr Cronin is a Queensland based rural doctor in Cloncurry and Mt Isa, and until recently in Montville and Maleny, and over her entire career in rural medicine she has been a vocal and strong advocate for rural doctors and for people in rural and remote communities.
02/10/2014
Rural doctors' national conference RMA2014
Hosted by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA2014) is the peak annual national conference for doctors working in rural and remote communities. More than 700 doctors, registrars, junior doctors and medical students, as well as academics and educators with an interest in rural and remote health care are expected to attend the conference at the Four Seasons Hotel at The Rocks, Sydney.
26/09/2014
No time for complacency on rural doctor shortage
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned that governments and policy-makers should not become complacent about the rural medical workforce shortage, following figures released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). “While AIHW has reported that health workforce numbers are relatively stable, the fact is that in many rural and remote areas doctors are working extremely long hours in the face of fewer colleagues” RDAA President, Dr Ian Kamerman, said. “And in many rural towns, there simply aren’t the required number of doctors to meet local need."
09/09/2014
RDAT media release -- More doctors and innovative care models critical for a healthier rural Tasmania
Recruiting and retaining more rural doctors across Tasmania is critical to reducing the health outcome disparity between rural Tasmanians and those on the mainland. Professor Dennis Pashen, newly elected President of the Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania (RDAT), said that attracting and retaining more rural doctors, as well as exploring other innovative models of local health service delivery, is critical if this worrying disparity in health outcomes is to be reduced.
01/09/2014
UGPA media release -- GP leaders urge reform on after-hours funding
Australia’s peak body of general practice representative groups, United General Practice Australia (UGPA), welcomes the Federal Government’s review of the administration of after-hours primary care services, which was formally announced this week. Through the review, UGPA will be urging the Federal Government to again administer funding for after-hours services through its Practice Incentives Program, as was the case until July 2013.
25/08/2014
Rural doctors say good progress on co-payment models, but rural issues must be considered
Vice President of the Rural Doctors Association Australia (RDAA) Dr John Hall, has said that while RDAA had participated in productive discussions today [Thursday 21 August 2014], further work is needed to assess the impact of the proposal on rural doctors and rural communities. “We were pleased to receive a comprehensive briefing from the AMA on their proposal for a revised co-payment model, along with other general practice leaders at a meeting of the United General Practice Australia (UGPA),” Dr Hall said. “However the impact that any co-payment system may have on rural communities, rural doctors and rural medical practices needs further consideration.
21/08/2014
AMA media release -- AMA model protects vulnerable patients
AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, today called on the Government to dump its seriously flawed GP co-payments proposal and adopt the AMA model, which exempts the most vulnerable patients from extra cost burdens for their health care. A/Prof Owler said the AMA has vigorously opposed the Government’s proposal since Budget night and has worked to produce an alternative model that is fairer and more equitable.
21/08/2014
UGPA media release -- General practice leaders welcome progress on alternate co-payment model
General practice leaders have today welcomed progress made by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) in putting forward an alternate model to the proposed $7 co-payment.
21/08/2014
Heart disease snapshot “an alarm bell” for governments on rural health access, co-payment
A geographical snapshot of heart disease in Australia, released today by the National Heart Foundation of Australia, is “an alarm bell” for governments that more must be done to get extra doctors to the bush and ensure rural Australians have better access to health services, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has said. RDAA Vice President, Dr John Hall, has also warned that the snapshot is a prime example of why the Federal Government must exempt disadvantaged Australians from its proposed $7 Medicare co-payment.
14/08/2014
Real progress on rural doctor shortage requires big picture focus
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed Federal Government investment in a new rural medical training facility opened last week at Wagga Wagga in NSW, but it has warned that until “bigger challenges” are resolved real progress in resolving Australia’s rural doctor shortage will remain elusive. “There is an urgent need for the Government to now start ticking the boxes on some bigger issues, and to resolve some key issues that have arisen following the May federal budget" RDAA President, Dr Ian Kamerman, said.
12/08/2014
UGPA media release -- General practice training must be college-led, says UGPA
In response to changes to general practice training, United General Practice Australia (UGPA) has called for a college-governed and managed general practice training environment. Under the changes announced in May, the Government plans to dismantle General Practice Education and Training (GPET), and consolidate its functions into the Department of Health (DoH). At today’s meeting in Canberra, UGPA unanimously supported the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) in proposing a model to the Government that would see both colleges continue professional leadership.
30/07/2014
UGPA media release -- General practice leaders welcome government negotiations on proposed co-payment model
General practice leaders welcomed the Government’s willingness to negotiate on the proposed $7 co-payment model for general practice services at today’s United General Practice Australia (UGPA) meeting in Canberra. In May, UGPA publicly called for an overhaul of the proposed co-payment model, concerned over the potential impacts on Australia’s most vulnerable populations’ access to healthcare and the divestment of general practice services. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has been requested by Prime Minister, The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, to propose an alternative co-payment model. UGPA supports the AMA in leading negotiations with government on an alternate model on behalf of general practice with the AMA committed to working with UGPA as discussions progress.
30/07/2014
Rural doctors coming to the 'Big Smoke' for Rural Medicine Australia 2014
Rural doctors are preparing for a visit to the Harbour City, with Rural Medicine Australia 2014 (RMA 2014) to be held in Sydney this year. RMA 2014 is the national conference of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), and is the largest gathering of rural doctors in Australia.
22/07/2014
Government reverses controversial Medicare ruling on Practice Nurses
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has welcomed the news that the Federal Government has reversed the decision to disallow Medicare rebates for practice nurses delivering health assessments in general practices. RDAA President, Dr Ian Kamerman, said that the urgent intervention as a response to widespread outcry by the profession was welcomed.
03/07/2014
Surprise Medicare decision could spell end for practice nurses, rural doctors warn
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says it is “surprised and disappointed” with a decision by the Federal Government to immediately disallow Medicare rebates for practice nurses delivering health assessments in general practices. “Practice nurses have, until now, been able to provide Medicare-rebated health assessments within general practices, when undertaken in collaboration with the practice doctor” RDAA President, Dr Ian Kamerman, said. “But effective immediately, Medicare rebates will not be paid to patients towards the time that practice nurses spend on providing the health assessments. “This decision could spell the end for practice nurses in many rural practices across Australia, and greatly reduce the overall pool of health professionals providing healthcare in the bush."
02/07/2014
Rural doctors pleased with hearing on rural health concerns
The President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Ian Kamerman, says he is pleased with the engagement shown from both sides of politics on key concerns he raised at meetings in Canberra this week. “Ministers Dutton, Nash and Billson—as well as the senior Opposition MPs with whom I met—requested further input from RDAA on various issues, and we look forward to continuing to engage closely with them going forward."
25/06/2014
Media alert -- RDAA doorstop, Parliament House, Canberra, Tuesday 24 June
The President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Ian Kamerman, will today (Tuesday) hold a media doorstop at Parliament House, Canberra, to discuss a range of issues regarding rural healthcare following the recent federal budget. The doorstop will be held at 1.30pm AEST, at the Press Gallery boxes.
24/06/2014
Co-payment will "impact terribly" on terminally ill and aged care patients, rural doctors warn
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) is warning the Federal Government that its plan to charge the $7 Medicare co-payment will have a “terrible impact” on rural patients in aged care or those with terminal illnesses, will deliver zero savings and could jeopardise optimum care outcomes. “The $7 co-payment in its entirety needs urgent reconsideration, but trying to charge it to the rural terminally ill, aged care patients, Indigenous patients, other high-need and disadvantaged patient groups, and for child consults is a step too far” RDAA President, Dr Ian Kamerman, said.
18/06/2014
Tasmanian rural doctors get infusion of new blood
The Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania (RDAT) elected an exciting new committee at last week’s AGM held in Campbell Town. Rural GPs travelled from right across Tasmania to attend the meeting, and elected Dr Dennis Pashen, who recently moved to Tasmania from Queensland, as their new President. Dr Pashen said he was honoured to be elected and is looking forward to working with Tasmanian doctors, educators and politicians to foster the development of rural doctors in the state.
13/06/2014
RDAA letter to the editor / opinion piece -- proposed Medicare co-payment model
The Federal Government’s proposed Medicare co-payment model is going to hit rural patients hard and will cause significant problems to country medical practices and their communities. Rural Australians generally have poorer health outcomes and lower incomes than their urban counterparts and many rural medical practices struggle to remain financially viable, as they often have to subsidise the cost of consultations for patients they know cannot afford to pay. In addition, rural doctors subsidise their communities during times of drought or disaster. Under the proposed co-payment requirement, rural doctors will face a tough choice — force more of their struggling patients to make the co-payment, or treat more of their patients free of charge and, in the process, take an even greater pay cut and put more pressure on their practice’s viability.
04/06/2014
Quality medical training at risk following budget cuts
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) has warned that new arrangements for general practice training, announced by the Federal Government in the recent budget, are of significant concern and will erode the high-quality GP training that new medical graduates currently receive. “So much effort over so many years has been put into ensuring Australia has a world-class general practice training system. It would be a tragedy for this to be turned upside down in the space of a couple of years” said RDAA President, Dr Ian Kamerman.
03/06/2014
UGPA media release -- Changes to general practice training risk compromising the profession, says UGPA
United General Practice Australia (UGPA) calls on the Federal Government to urgently consult with the general practice profession regarding its plan to abolish General Practice Education and Training (GPET), consolidate its functions into the Department of Health (DoH) and cease the Prevocational General Practice Placements (PGPPP) Scheme. The Government’s plan poses serious risks to general practice training, including: loss of general practice education expertise for the delivery of training; disengagement of supervisors; withdrawal of teaching practices and reduced appeal of general practice as a career. Planned reforms to general practice financing may also discourage practices from employing registrars.
02/06/2014
UGPA media release -- General practice groups united in opposition to GP co-payment as proposed
United General Practice Australia (UGPA) is today calling for an overhaul of the general practice co-payment model that was proposed in the May budget. UGPA is concerned about the impact of the proposed GP co-payment on the most vulnerable patients. The model must be fairer and support the delivery of health care for vulnerable patients, including those at the poverty line, the chronically ill, those in aged care facilities, and Indigenous patients.
28/05/2014
GP training dealt major blow by federal budget: Government urged to save, not scrap, PGPPP initiative
Rural doctors are calling on the Federal Government to immediately reverse its decision to scrap a highly-valued general practice training initiative, saying it has played a vital role in attracting many young doctors into rural medicine. President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr Ian Kamerman, said the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) has been a critical part of the training pipeline for rural doctors, enticing many young doctors into general practice and rural practice. It has also taken pressure off the hospital system by helping to meet growing demand for training places for junior doctors.
27/05/2014
Media alert -- RDAA media doorstop, Parliament House, Canberra -- Wednesday, 21 May 2014
CEO of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Jenny Johnson, will hold a media doorstop on Wednesday to highlight the significant concerns of rural doctors, rural patients and RDAA regarding: - The Federal Government’s proposed Medicare co-payment for GP consults, pharmaceuticals and diagnostic tests; and - the scrapping by the Government of the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP), a program that has been highly successful in encouraging more young doctors to take up general practice, and rural practice, as a career choice.
20/05/2014
Co-payment to turn rural doctors into tax collectors, create more red tape
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says the Federal Government’s proposed Medicare co-payment will see the already significant pressure on rural doctors increase as they are forced to collect the co-payment on behalf of the Government, meet red tape requirements associated with it, and be called more frequently to their local hospital to treat patients who can’t afford to pay it. RDAA is also concerned that rural doctors and patients will be caught in the crossfire as the federal and state governments step up their fight over health funding post-budget. “At a time when the Federal Government is talking about the need to ensure doctors are spending their time treating patients and not filling out endless paperwork, last week’s Medicare co-payment announcement is irony…in capital letters and underlined” said RDAA President, Dr Ian Kamerman.
20/05/2014
RDAA Budget 2014 reaction -- Medicare co-payment: hurdles in accessing healthcare just got higher for rural patients
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) says while it is pleased that the rural health sector has been spared substantial funding cuts amidst a wider healthcare budget of dramatic cost-cutting, the introduction of a $7 Medicare patient co-payment for GP consults is of serious concern to rural patients and rural doctors. “The $7 Medicare co-payment—together with patient co-payments for pharmaceuticals, out-of-hospital pathology tests (like blood tests) and diagnostic imaging services—will impact significantly on rural patients and could lead to much greater costs on the health and hospital system in future years” RDAA Vice President, Dr John Hall, said.
13/05/2014
Rural Doctors Association of Australia -- commentary available pre and post budget
A reminder that RDAA’s rural doctor representatives—both nationally and from each state—as well as RDAA’s CEO, Jenny Johnson, will be available immediately following tomorrow night's Federal Budget lock-up (ie. from 7.30pm AEST), and all of Wednesday, to provide post-budget commentary. (Note that Jenny is based in Canberra and can go to local Canberra TV/radio studios and/or Parliament House studios for TV/radio interviews). RDAA Vice President, Dr John Hall, and Jenny Johnson are also available for pre-budget commentary today/tomorrow.
12/05/2014
Rural Health left in the dust by Commission of Audit
Rural doctors say health sector recommendations from the Commission of Audit are aimed at improving the health of the economy, not the health of the Australian population, and would have a disproportionate impact on the health of Australians living in rural and remote areas. Dr John Hall, Vice President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, said that the health recommendations would not only be costly in the long term, but could also be deadly for many rural Australians.
02/05/2014
Rural doctors to hold national breakfast briefing for federal politicians
The Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) will hold a national breakfast briefing for federal politicians at Parliament House in Canberra this Wednesday, 26 March 2014. Approximately 50 politicians including Ministers, Shadow Ministers, MPs and Senators will be meeting with around 25 rural doctors from right across Australia, to discuss the key national health policy issues facing rural doctors and their patients.
24/03/2014
UGPA media release -- Healthcare access at risk unless Government invests in general practice training
Access to affordable and timely healthcare in both rural and urban settings will be at risk if the Government fails to invest in general practice training, according to Australia’s general practice leaders. At the United General Practice Australia (UGPA) meeting held in Melbourne today, GP leaders agreed that greater support of the general practice profession will lead to improved health system efficiency; a role that Australian general practice is already excelling in. UGPA is calling on Government to show a commitment to general practice in the upcoming Federal budget by investing in the expansion of programs that provide International Medical Graduates (IMGs) with adequate supervision and support, and increasing community-based general practice placements and vocational training numbers to a minimum of 1700 per annum by 2017.
19/02/2014
RDAA and AMA joint media release -- Urgent fix needed for flawed classification system, doctor groups warn Government
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA) are jointly calling on the Federal Government to urgently replace the Australian Standard Geographic Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system, saying it continues to make it extremely difficult for many small rural towns to recruit and retain much-needed doctors.
18/02/2014