Laugh. Maybe it’s just a bad case of Mondayitis, but the coverage of today’s COAG deliberations on health reform have had that effect.
Here in The Australian, we have the Australian Dental Association presenting itself as the advocate of the poor and needy.
Well, if you look at the stats (you know, the ones showing that people in the country, Indigenous Australians and those who rely on public dental care have worse access to services and worse oral health), it’s clear just how intensely focused the profession has been on the needs of the under-served over the years. There is no reason at all to take their newfound interest in fair, affordable access to dental care with a pitcher of salt.
And then here at the ABC, we have the AMA presenting as the beacon for health reform. “I mean we have been waiting for reform for decades,” says the head of the AMA, Dr Andrew Pesce.
Yes, of course, that’s right. I almost forgot – the AMA as the advocate for health workforce reform, including using nurse practitioners to help alleviate workforce shortages. The AMA advocating for the end of the private health insurance incentives which have helped entrench the unfairness of our health system. The AMA advocating for a rebalancing of power within the profession and its structures, to give supremacy to the primary care end of town. The AMA advocating for doctors to work in areas of need, rather than in areas of comfort…
See what I mean…it’s obviously hysterical Monday here…Better get a grip. This is a serious business after all.
The serious point being: how can the voices of the under-served gain some genuine place in the public debate about health reform?