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    ron batagol

    I guess you have to always separate the political spin from the “embedded” facts of any such statement by an Opposition Health Care spokesperson. All the more so in the case of the this current Government which routinely turns bungling projects into a 21st century art form!! No more so than in Health! Just two examples- the super clinics fiasco- very few set up where there were doctor shortages and reported monetary blowouts, and introducing an e-Health Project where the patient decides which, (potentially critically important) health data is included, if any-never mind accuracy and reliability of data! etc.etc.- no wonder spin gets in the way so often. However re: Medicare Locals, as noted by Prof.John Dwyer, surely Medicare Locals should have the same geographic boundaries at the Local Health Networks, and if you really do want to minimise bureaucratic overlapping costs, then coordinate both structures and functions, so as to have a better handle on those many chronically ill patients who move frequently between hospital and the community, and who really need and are best managed with, co-ordinated community care. Will it happen? I doubt it- and, no, sadly, I don’t think the Opposition understands health issues any better!

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    Experience as a director of a GP Division leads me to expect that money spent by government on local health administration is a poor investment. The withdrawal of capital from General Practice by miserly rebate levels over the past twenty years has left General practice a shadow of its potential; fund private GP well, and not super clinics, and with the gradual increase in doctor numbers coming we would have an even better primary health system than we have now, with much better productivity.


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