- On January 15, 2019
- January / February 2019
FROM THE CEO
When one election is not nearly enough
The upcoming elections are important opportunities to make health a priority for both governments.
2019 looks set to be an interesting year in politics with a State and Federal election in the first half of 2019. The State election is, of course, fixed for Saturday 23 March 2019. The indications are that the Federal election will be held in May 2019, although as I write this column, there continues to be some media speculation about an early March election for the Federal Government. By the time you are reading this column, you will know one way or the other.
Despite the uncertainty about the timing, it is clear from the Victorian election and early polling that health will be a critical issue for both State and Federal politicians. As always, AMA (NSW) will be developing a comprehensive election policy to cover both the State and Federal campaigns. We see this as an important opportunity to call on both parties to put forward a vision for healthcare, not just a set of announcements and photo opportunities in front of hospitals.
Ongoing investment in health is key to the overall wellbeing and welfare of the community. We must continually strive for a system that is patient-centred, equitable, integrated and innovative.
Both State and Federal Governments have an opportunity to strategically invest in health at what is one of the most critical points in history – where the country’s population growth intersects with an ageing demographic, that is increasingly at risk of chronic disease due to the prevalence of overweight and obesity. We must act now to adequately resource both preventive health and clinical treatment.
We will be calling on members to meet with State and Federal candidates in their local communities and to talk to them about what they want for their patients. We would like as many members as possible to take this opportunity because we know it makes a significant difference, both during the campaign and, more importantly, in the decision-making processes that come with whichever party wins government.
Our other priorities for 2019 will be to continue to inform patients about the true costs of healthcare and to support our members in their interactions with patients around fees. We have developed two resources - ‘Why is there a gap?’ and ‘How much will it cost?’ to help practices talk about fees, which you can find on our website at amansw.com.au. These can be provided to patients or used on practice websites.
We will build on these resources and develop further activities to support practices in 2019.
We look forward to a successful 2019 and appreciate your continued support.