Friday, 13 May 2016

Doctors target prescriptions - print anti-gov protest on them :)

Any federal politician should know by now that you just don't attack Medicare and bulk billing. The Abbott/Turnbull gov however appears not to have learned that lesson. This despite the backlash against Abbott's 2014 budget that tried to bring in a co-payment of $7, that saw the sick march in the street (or wheel themselves in wheelchairs) in protest and ultimately was a big factor in the demise of Abbott.

Now the Turnbull gov has tried a different approach, by freezing the Medicare rebate until 2020 if elected. Effectively an inflationary cut to the rebate by not increasing it with said inflation. Forcing doctors in the end to bring in their own co-payment to survive as a viable business. 

This has again enraged all involved in the health profession, and scared the shit out of the chronically ill. Particularly enraged are the general practitioners, who are the front line in Australia's health care. So much so they have launched a campaign against the Turnbull gov's cut's to Medicare and bulk billing. They're putting up posters in their waiting rooms about it, and in the latest move are printing the campaign on the bottom of their prescriptions. Brilliant! 
More than 5.5 million prescriptions are written every week making the printable message a potent campaign weapon. 

Over an eight week election campaign the message would be printed on 44 million scripts if every doctor participates. 

The prescription messaging idea emerged in the social media group “Doctors Downunder” which has 2,500 members. 

Dr Evan Ackerman says it was a grassroots idea that came up in online discussions about how doctors could get their message across. 

“I question whether you would call it a political campaign, its an education process,” he said. 

“It’s about facilitating discussions between patients and doctors about billing in general practice,” he said. 

“A lot of doctors will have to move away from bulk billing,” he said. 

There had been a lot of discussion about the government’s Medicare rebate freeze among general practitioners and there was “palpable dissatisfaction,” he said. 

Australian Medical Association president Professor Brian Owler says it’s a sign of the seriousness with which doctors are taking the freeze on Medicare rebates.  

Marching in Sydney against the 2014 Abbott budget