Consumers Health Forum congratulates Catherine King

The Consumers Health Forum congratulates Catherine King on her re-appointment as Shadow Health Minister.

“Catherine King played an important role in the election campaign to protect Medicare and oppose the continued freeze on Medicare payments to doctors,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.

“Central to Medicare is universal access to medical care. The freeze puts that at risk as GPs will likely bow to financial pressures they face and drop bulk billing.

“However as we have already conveyed to the government and Health Minister, CHF believes that Australia needs to reform the health system to ensure it better delivers for patients.

“‘Don’t touch Medicare’ should not be taken to mean that consumers and the community will be satisfied with the status quo. Medicare and our primary care arrangements are long overdue for reform.

“We must keep universal access but address limitations of fee for service, and ramp up the Medicare benefits system review introduced by Minister Ley to stimulate best practice and weed out outmoded services. And we need to see the benefits of digital technology now taken for granted in other spheres rolled out in health care to deliver better targeted, coordinated and effective services.

“And as we have stated previously, we would not oppose out-sourcing of the administration of Medicare payments if it were to improve services for consumers, reduce costs and ensure security of patient data,” Ms Wells said.

“Our aim is to ensure that we can exploit advances in medical knowledge and technology to improve the quality and accessibility of health care and to ensure payment and other systems that support their health care are world class.


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