Tuesday, March 10, 2015
The AMA President Makes The AMAs View On The PCEHR Very Clear. Hardly Positive.
This appeared a few days ago:
Published: 02 Mar 2015
As Health Minister Sussan Ley engages in consultation with health and consumer groups about the Government’s GP co-payment and other Medicare changes, work on other areas of the health system is in stagnation. There is a vacuum as far as health policy is concerned.
The co-payment has sucked the life out of health policy development, discussion, and debate. This has not only been detrimental to the Government, it is also harmful for the practice of medicine and for our patients.
The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) was not that long ago touted as the most important initiative in health. Today, all we hear about is the massive waste of taxpayer money in its development. The Abbott Government commissioned a review but, 14 months later, is yet to respond to the review’s recommendations. The PCEHR remains in limbo, a very large white elephant.
This is a very interesting article that reviews an amazing list of issues where we are suffering from what has to be described as ‘policy paralysis’. At least some of this is due to the policy vacuum we had with Mr Dutton for so long - up until December and the reshuffle that give is Minister Ley.
With the list of policy problems including:
- Hospital Funding.
- Primary Health Network Start-up
- Health Budget Control and Activity Based Costing
- Indigenous Health and Closing The Gap.
- Agency Abolition for Prevention etc.
- Mental Health and more recently the issues emerging with
- Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement. (see below)
There is a fair bit to sort out as well as the PCHER!
Health Minister Sussan Ley has threatened to blow open negotiations for a fresh five-year multi-billion dollar deal with pharmacy owners for distributing subsidised drugs, which could substantially weaken the influence of one of the most powerful lobby groups in Canberra.
On Thursday the Auditor-General published a scathing report into the administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement struck in 2010, finding it failed to deliver forecast $1 billion savings to the government and was beset with administrative errors.
The Pharmacy Guild, which represents pharmacy owners, is well-known in Canberra for its hardball lobbying tactics and grassroots electoral campaigns against parliamentary critics. Negotiations for the sixth agreement to come into force in July this year have only just begun.
Ms Ley said she was deeply concerned by the findings of the report and threatened an inquiry if a full explanation of the shortcomings was not given.
More bad news for the Pharmacy Guild here:
Of course while the Co-Payment issue is still not resolved - as we are told here - and the rest of the list above the chance of the PCEHR getting focus and decisions seems to be pretty unlikely.
Prime minister tells question time the latest attempt to introduce a co-payment is ‘dead buried and cremated’ and a new ‘value signal’ would be developed
Tuesday 3 March 2015 15.43 AEDT Last modified on Tuesday 3 March 2015 15.46 AEDT
The Abbott government is now working on a fifth version of its Medicare policy after the prime minister declared its latest attempt to introduce a co-payment “dead buried and cremated” but the health minister said she had not finalised an alternative to achieve the same policy aims.
The government is retaining a freeze on the Medicare rebate that would force doctors to abandon bulk billing over time unless they finally agree to alternative budget savings – and it says its policy goal to restrict bulk billing to the “vulnerable” remains.
The health minister, Sussan Ley, said she was still negotiating with doctors about alternative Medicare savings as she abandoned the fallback policy of a $5 rebate cut announced by the prime minister last December and “put on hold” in January.
It really feels like no one is on top of all this just yet.
I guess we will wait a little longer!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, March 10, 2015