AMA (NSW) is backing Premier Dominic Perrottet’s calls to reshape the healthcare system.
“Healthcare reform is long overdue,” said AMA (NSW) President, Dr Michael Bonning.
“Our public hospitals are overstretched and struggling to meet demand and general practices and primary care are not being fully utilised and supported to take some of that pressure off.
“Splitting responsibility for the healthcare system between the Commonwealth and States/Territories is inefficient and ineffective.
“This will be the challenge for our time, but it is also a golden opportunity. We encourage the new Federal Government and the national cabinet to work together to reform the health system.
“If we fail to adequately fund our system and build capacity to handle the increased demands from our growing population – then we will fail patients and put lives at risk,” Dr Bonning said.
AMA (NSW) is also calling on the NSW Government to deliver a Budget that addresses the current workforce shortages that contribute to ambulance ramping, bed block, declining trends in hospital performance, and health inequity across the State, particularly in rural NSW.
Dr Bonning also stressed the need for a Budget that addresses elective surgery waitlists – not shortterm ‘blitz’ funding, but structured funding that sees a well managed ramping up of elective surgery over the coming years.
He added, “We want to see a Budget that delivers on more than the usual recurrent spending. We need a cash injection that meets the non-COVID needs of the community. There is a raft of nonCOVID care that was sidelined during the pandemic and now needs to be dealt with. This includes routine screening for mental health, cancer, and chronic disease.
“We want to see a Budget that supports general practice. We’re calling on the State to grant medical practices an exemption to payroll tax, which threatens the financial viability of practices across NSW.
“And we want to see a Budget that includes a wage increase for the health workforce, including doctors. Doctors have made significant sacrifices during the pandemic and should not be left out of any changes to public sector wages,” Dr Bonning said.
Media Contact: 0419 402 955