AMA defends co-payment of $6.15

In a passionate speech at the AMA’s annual parliamentary dinner in Canberra, Professor Owler said the state had a responsibility to keep people safe and healthy, but the government’s proposed co-payment policy would have the opposite effect.

“I am afraid to say that neither side of politics is focused on what is important for our health system – sustainable general practice in which quality general practice is rewarded,” he said.

“The government’s $7 co-payment takes money out of healthcare, including general practice, almost $4 billion in fact, and asks patients to contribute those funds.”

Facing a line-up of dignitaries at Wednesday's dinner, including Health Minister Peter Dutton, health-sector leaders and Coalition and Opposition policymakers, he took a swipe at critics of the AMA’s alternative plan to give GPs more cash. 

“So, in a week when terms like ‘money grab