AMA election report card released

Australian Medical Association

The report card highlights the investments committed across a range of areas, however what is clearly missing is the overall vision for Australia’s health.

The AMA election report card was released this week. The report card assesses health policy announcements of the Liberal National Coalition, the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens against the five pillars of the AMA’s Vision for Australia’s Health.

The AMA’s own logjam campaign, which has run over the course of the election campaign, called on the government and opposition to commit to a new hospital funding agreement with state governments aimed at addressing the crisis of ambulance ramping, overloaded emergency departments and delayed essential surgery.

Despite the lack of commitment by the ALP and LNP to the necessary $20.5 billion investment, the AMA believes the incoming prime minister will be forced to negotiate a new 50/50 funding agreement with the states. Importantly state and territory premiers are also calling for a better deal.

Meanwhile the Greens have committed to a 50/50 agreement – an important point to note considering the increased role the other parties and independents may play in the next parliament.

The report card highlights some of the significant proposed health investments made during the election campaign, including the ALP’s promise of almost a billion dollars to be injected into general practice to realise the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan and to provide additional GP infrastructure. The plan, to date, is unfunded by the Coalition. This funding commitment has been fought for by the AMA as part of the Modernise Medicare campaign.

Other notable health investments include the AMA’s longstanding call for a centre for disease control being committed to by the ALP and the Greens, and $146 million by the Coalition, then matched by ALP, for rural health.

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