Australian Medical Association Releases 2009-10 Budget Submission

February 2, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment


Ahead of today’s Cabinet meeting the AMA has staked a claim on Federal Government funds aimed at stimulating the economy, claiming health was the best possible investment in nation building.



Releasing the AMA’s 2009-10 Budget Submission today, AMA Federal President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said good health was a foundation of productivity.



“The economic down turn, individual and family financial stress, and increasing unemployment all mean that the government’s commitment to supporting and funding health is even more important.



“It is times like this that the government’s essential role is to ensure and under pin access to high quality, affordable health care for all Australians.



“Healthcare is essential not only for individuals, families and communities but also for a productive workforce,” Dr Capolingua said.



“As well as ensuring we live longer, happier, healthier lives, an investment in health is also fundamentally important to business efficiency and profitability.



“Poor health costs the community $7 billion in absenteeism alone, while employees coming to work sick and unproductive costs a further $25.7 billion a year.



“The costs to business and the community are likely to increase as the economic downturn takes its’ toll on health.”



The AMA’s budget submission outlines a range of measures to support and enhance Australia’s world-class health system, and ensure the broadest possible access to the system.



“These include practical measures like properly funding our public hospitals, keeping private health insurance affordable, and ensuring Medicare continues to deliver universal access,” Dr Capolingua said.



“The measures outlined in our submission are cost effective, sensible and achievable. They include improving access to health services for Indigenous and rural communities, retention of the Medicare safety net and proper indexation of the MBS as well as investing in chronic disease prevention and early intervention.



“They represent sound investment in health at a time when it is most needed. Investing now will pay major dividends for coming generations as well as immediately addressing the increase in health problems that impact on individuals and communities as a result of economic hardship.



“So far we’ve seen the government move to prop up the banking and commercial property sectors as well as the car industry – the AMA believes health will prove an even better investment.”



The AMA’s Budget Submission is available at http://www.ama.com.au/node/4449



Australian Medical Association

[Via http://www.medicalnewstoday.com]

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