25/11/2003 - 21:00

AMA goes on the attack

25/11/2003 - 21:00


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AMA goes on the attack

AMA State president Brent Donovan has declared himself a supporter of reform but it seems he’s no fan of the ideas floated by the State Government’s health reform committee.

Dr Donovan issued his first damning press release even before the committee’s first discussion paper saw the light of day.

He has been particularly scathing of proposals to reduce duplication at the major teaching hospitals.

He characterised this as a “dangerous experiment” that equated to downgrading of services at Sir Charles Gairdner and Fremantle hospitals.

“Centralisation will reduce access for up to two-thirds of Perth’s population and ignores the fact that nearly 90 per cent of patients being taken to emergency departments at hospitals suffer some kind of illness, not injury,” Dr Donovan said.

“All of these patients need access to expert teams.

“All our hospitals with big emergency departments – Fremantle and Sir Charles Gairdner, for example – must be able to provide a comprehensive service.”

Dr Donovan has also attacked a discussion paper suggesting changes to the area health service structure, which he said amounted to “more bureaucracy, administration and cost”.

“The strategies in this paper ignore independent community input and concentrate control in the hands of an ever expanding bureaucracy,” he said.

“The AMA has for years been recommending independent community based boards to be responsible for each region.

“It would be a cost effective way of enabling government to draw on expertise from the wider community.”

Dr Donovan said “it is becoming clear that the papers being released (by the health reform committee) are not for discussion.

“They do not offer options but are final conclusions and the strategies of faceless bureaucrats,” he said.

Dr Donovan also dismissed a discussion paper that floated proposals to better coordinate health care and reduce unnecessary hospitalisation.

“This expensive paper is bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo,” he said.

“Every suggestion in this paper is already part of the ongoing process of improvement of health delivery and patient care in WA.”



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