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Members’ Forum

Here’s a selection of what AMA Members have been saying about the latest issues affecting the profession:

19 Nov 2012

Here’s a selection of what AMA Members have been saying about the latest issues affecting the profession:

Defence contracts

Which corporate clown ever imagined that we would be happy to accept a 50 per cent fee reduction unilaterally, with no negotiation? I've really enjoyed treating ADF personnel over the past five years, and we are a garrison city, but it’s not going to carry on! Sad really - enjoy the flights to Brisbane, guys and gals.

Dr Chris Jelliffe (not verified)

There are no specialists that I am aware of who are going to sign the new contract in Darwin, with the huge number of defence personel here. Some female defence members already have been referred to the over-busy public hospital, and I am sure they are not happy.

Jenny Mitchell (not verified)

Although Medibank provides no explanation, to take our fighting forces’ health care into the domain of the discounted bulk-billed service, you have decided to put your profit motive ahead of the support from home that these men and women deserve. I feel it significantly degrades your Medibank brand to downgrade the debt we owe these brave men who sacrifice so much on all our behalf, and I am sure the rest of the community will agree.

Mark MacL (not verified)

I have been happy to treat soldiers at a lower rate than I normally charge in the past, because I believe we owe them the best care we can give. They are wonderful people, and I have had an excellent relationship with the Defence Forces. I am not prepared to become a Medicare contractor, and accept a contract drawn up without any consultation.

John O'Donnell (not verified)

Authority Prescription Hotline

I was amazed to hear that 500,000 calls a month are made time wasted. Unbelievable. For what?
Dr Chris Mckenzie (not verified)


The government has an obligation to provide internships for all students holding a Commonwealth-funded university place, but no such obligation should exist for full fee paying students. Otherwise, the government is in effect offering a guaranteed buy back of a proportion of the undergraduate fees collected.

Name withheld

Is this not going to be a recurrent problem every year? Is the federal government planning to recurrently fund their extra 100 intern places that seem to be in excess of the current workforce requirements? This may also result is a dilution of experience for those interns - they may only be asked to job-share or work for only 20 to 30 hours per week. At least they will be compliant with safe-hours directives.

Name withheld 

This is not about protecting or advantaging medical graduates or doctors, but simply allowing them the opportunity to begin working and then competing. Graduates in most other faculties are (I assume) eligible to work once they have their degree, although obviously never guaranteed of anything, just as it is for graduating interns. If you are medically trained then you will know how competitive things become once competition for specialist training begins.



Very sadly, the Government seeks to make extremely meagre increases in the MBS schedule of fees at lengthy intervals. What the Government must realise by now is that there are many GPs and specialists carrying out minor, sometimes complicated, surgical procedures for very low fees in their well set up treatment rooms, with nursing staff assistance. All these patients would otherwise end up in the public hospital system, waiting for their operation on the waiting list for a very long time. If the Government was serious about helping the community at large, they would make significant increases to the MBS schedule. The Government will reap so many gains by this process. More and more could be treated as outpatients by GPs and specialists for problems which otherwise would block a bed in hospital.

Dr Gamani Goonetilleka (not verified)


Published: 19 Nov 2012