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Returning to Labor’s recent health policy announcement, and the vice president of Australia’s peak body for doctors says the party’s plan to ease pressure on the hospital system is incoherent and only “tinkers around the edges”.

As reported earlier today, Labor plans to fund health clinics to look after low-level emergency cases, in a bid to free up hospital beds and ease pressure on emergency departments.

Labor wants to ease pressure on emergency departments. Credit:Steven Siewert

Dr Chris Moy, vice president of the Australian Medical Association, criticised the proposal during an interview on Melbourne radio station 3AW.

Moy said the general practice sector was run “under a conveyor-belt-type medicine”, and Labor’s plan failed to address issues such as flexible after-hours care and home visits to prevent the elderly and chronically ill from ending up in hospital.

“The main problem in hospitals is the fact that the hospitals are so full,” he said.

“The proposal they’ve just put out today is really tinkering around the edges. Look, it’s a nice try, but it’s nothing of what we need.”

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Moy also criticised the Coalition’s track record on health, accusing it of “playing small target” with health.

“When the budget came out, they threw out all these numbers. But they were essentially COVID funding and recent funding that they were going to do anyway. Neither party has really put their money where their mouth is.”

Meanwhile, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners called for increased Medicare rebates for patients who need longer appointments with their GP, as well as greater investment in rural healthcare as part of plea for increased funding ahead of the election.

The body also wants telehealth rebates to be retained and incentive payments to be rolled out to improve preventative care for older Australians, mental health patients and people living with disabilities.



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