AMA's support for Medicare Locals welcomed

AMA's support for Medicare Locals welcomed

13 March 2013

The AML Alliance has welcomed the AMAs re-positioning on Medicare Locals seeing this as an opportunity for further developing Australias primary health care system.

AML Alliance Chair, Dr Arn Sprogis says an opinion editorial published in Medical Observer this week, Medicare Locals here to stay, at what price? by AMA President Dr Steve Hambleton, shows the AMA can see the real potential for Medicare Locals and its members.

The AML Alliance agrees with the AMA that threats to unwind this valuable systematic approach to local health services would be a backward and costly step, AML Alliance Chair, Dr Sprogis said.

We already know that seven in ten of our Medicare Local colleagues are at the frontline delivering services to patients and the community and they are working at improving local systems to keep people well and out of hospital, he said.

Among the 1700 or more frontline health service professionals across the Medicare Locals are:
  • GPs, registered & enrolled nurses, pharmacists
  • Registered & clinical psychologists
  • Social workers & speech pathologists
  • Aboriginal Health Workers
  • Physiotherapists & exercise physiologists
  • Nutritionists and dietitians.

These health professionals are delivering after hours services, diabetes and immunisation programs, mental health, aged care support, chronic disease management services, refugee and homelessness support and health prevention programs just to name a few, Dr Sprogis said

Medicare Locals have and are changing the local health service landscape by improving access to general practice and primary care services across the nation and ultimately they will have a significant impact on the population health needs and well being of all Australians, Dr Sprogis said.