The Health News – 1 April 2014

Overview

  • The Minister for Aged Care and Disabilities Senator Mitch Fifield has said all members of the Coalition are fully committed to the complete delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  • Young health professionals and students in Queensland have voiced their concerns to the State Government about contracts for senior doctors in public.


Health News on HPR.

Minister for Disabilities commits to full delivery of NDIS – by Sarah Ferguson

The Minister for Aged Care and Disabilities Senator Mitch Fifield has said all members of the Coalition are fully committed to the complete delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Treasurer Joe Hockey this morning said of the NDIS “If we don’t get on top of the proper management of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, it could end up as big a farce as the pink batts program.”

Senator Fifield said in response “We’re determined to implement the NDIS in full, but it’s important to have an honest and open assessment of the foundations of the scheme.

The independent board of the NDIS Agency commissioned a capability review that found that the previous government’s decision to bring forward launch of the scheme by 12 months has fundamentally compromised some of the key capabilities necessary for full rollout.”

He continued “Our job is to make sure that the foundations are firm so that we can deliver the NDIS in full.

We are in the process of honouring the bilateral agreements that have been entered into between the Commonwealth and the states and territories and in those bilateral agreements are the time lines for the scheme.

Now, they could only be changed by way of renegotiating the bilateral agreements.

We have not received advice from the NDIS Agency in relation to their capability to meet the timelines that are in the intergovernmental agreements. That advice will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, we’re getting on with the job of delivering the NDIS.

But I want to be clear: we’re not looking for ways to delay the NDIS.

We’re looking for ways to deliver the NDIS. And it’s important to recognise that the previous government, in bringing forward the commencement of trial sites by a year, a year ahead of the more prudent timetable of the Productivity Commission, in doing that, the previous government have compromised the foundations of the scheme. We’re looking for how we can deliver this in full.”

Young doctors say QLD contract dispute may jeopardise their training – by Nance Haxton

Young health professionals and students in Queensland have voiced their concerns to the State Government about contracts for senior doctors in public.

The state government has given doctors until the end of April to sign new contracts, but the Australian Medical Students Association has said that if senior doctors resign en masse which they recently threatened to do, their medical training and accreditation will be compromised.

Hundreds of senior medical officers threatening to resign are refusing to sign the new public hospital contracts.

President of the Australian Medical Students Association Jessica Dean, said “Our concern is that if this dispute in Queensland isn’t resolved effectively and in a timely manner that some of these students are going to have to be redistributed into areas that don’t require supervision, such as, you know, back into university lectures or non-clinical tutorials, and that’s going to affect the amount of clinical exposure they get.

And it may have consequences for their accreditation.” And James Churchill, chair of the AMA’s (Australian Medical Association) Council of Doctors in Training, said “It may be that these doctors have to leave Queensland to continue their training.

It may be that patients then have to wait for a longer period of time to receive medical care.

There has been some quite high profile resignations, these have been reported publicly.

And junior doctors are already saying that where those resignations have been received that their training quality is starting to be compromised.”

But Health Minister Lawrence Springborg insists the changes will not negatively impact on junior doctors, and said “The Government has been very clear that the date for signing is the 30th of April.

The only way that these disputes can be resolved is for the militant interstate union leaders to stop what is a clearly silly mass resignation campaign. Nothing the Government’s doing will actually compromise the training for medical students, in actual fact we’re aiming to enhance it.”

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